An investigation of some factors affecting achievement in mathematics among form four pupils in Tanzania

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University of Dar es Salaam
This study aimed at investigating some of the factors affecting achievement in mathematics among Tanzanian secondary school pupils. In order to raise the standard of mathematical education in the schools, the various factors influencing its success must be found, analysed and assessed. The major factors considered are home background, type of school and pupils’ aspirations. The investigation was based on form four pupils in Tanzania Mainland studying in Government secondary schools. Twelve secondary schools were involved in the study. The pupils did a mathematics test and the score was regarded as a measure of the pupils’ achievement in mathematics. After the test the pupils and mathematics teachers of each participating school answered some questionnaires. Means and standard deviations were computed for group performances. The t-statistics was used to test hypotheses regarding differences in means between groups. The t-test was performed at the 1% level of significance. Regression analysis was performed to find which factors significantly contribute to mathematics performance. The various views from both the teachers and pupils were compiled and assessed. As far as performance by sex is concerned the results do not differ from previous findings. The factors that were found to be significant at the 1% level are age of pupil, time for homework, wish to do questionnaire results suggested that some of the problems facing the pupils in understanding mathematical concepts may be due to textbooks used and lack of time to concentrate on the difficult topics. The findings of this study call for reconsideration of the school biases regarding selection and catering for the different groups. There is also a need of looking for better instructional methods for the slow learner.
Study and teaching (Secondary), Mathematical ability, Tanzania
Seka, B. R. (1979) An investigation of some factors affecting achievement in mathematics among form four pupils in Tanzania, Masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at