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Influence of institutional facilities on students’ academic achievement in engineering courses in national polytechnics in kenya: analytical study across engineering courses

Author: 
Enose M.W. Simatwa and Khajeha Hariet
Subject Area: 
Physical Sciences and Engineering
Abstract: 

Engineering is the creative application of scientific principles that are put in practice to invent, design, build, maintain and improve structures, machines, devices, systems, materials and processes. This means that engineering requires infrastructure or institutional facilities in addition to other key variables. This includes human resource and materials. They are all key to successful engineering education. Infrastructure for Engineering courses offered at Diploma level in polytechnics play a critical role in acquisition of practical skills and knowledge relating to industrial development worldwide. In Kenya there were two National polytechnics; Kisumu National Polytechnic and The Eldoret National Polytechnic at per the time of the study. Through engineering education, countries build competence based workforce for key industries. However, performance of students in engineering courses in National Polytechnics was unsatisfactory. For instance A sample of 645 candidates who sat diploma examination in engineering courses between 2010 and 2014 in National Polytechnics, only 40 (6.2%) earned credits, 143(22.2%) passes, 247(38.3%) were referred and 215(33.3%) failed compared to their counterparts in non-engineering courses in which 22(1%) attained distinctions, 963(44%) credits 720 (33%) passes, 400(18.3%) were referred and 106(4.8%) failed. In another sample from another national polytechnic, 831 candidates during the same period for diploma examination in engineering courses, 110 (13.3%) attained credits, 283(34.1%) pass, 309(37.2%) were referred and 129 (15.5%) failed; compared to their counterparts in non-engineering courses in which 31(1.59%) earned distinctions, 672(34.62%) credits, 744(38.33%) passes, 393(20.3%) were referred and 101(5.2%) failed. The purpose of this study therefore was to determine the influence of institutional facilities on students’ academic achievement in engineering courses in National Polytechnics. The study established that institutional facilities accounted for 4.2% of the variation in students’ academic achievement in engineering courses. This means that the influence was low. The reason for being low was that from descriptive statistics, it was clear that the students hardly utilized the institutional facilities to the optimum. Engineering courses are competence based and highly practical in nature, which means that achievement in these courses can only be guaranteed by optimum frequent use of institutional facilities besides other factors. The study concluded that institutional facilities had low but significant influence on students’ academic achievement. These findings are significant to the management of National Polytechnics in engineering courses that needs to be improved to enhance students’ academic achievement. Institutional facilities should be provided and adequately used to enhance performance.

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