School- Based Factors Affecting Grade 12 Learners’ Academic Performance in Namibia Senior Secondary Certificate Ordinary Level Biology in the Khomas Educational Region, Namibia (Published)
This study investigated school-based factors affecting Grade 12 learners’ academic performance in the Namibia Senior Secondary Certificate Ordinary level (NSSCO) Biology and how the Biology teachers manage the factors in the Khomas Educational Region. Mixed methods research design involving both quantitative and qualitative approaches were used to collect data. A sample of 450 NSSCO Biology learners, 15 Biology teachers and 15 science Heads of Department (HODs) were randomly selected to fill questionnaires. Furthermore, a sub-sample of 2 science HODs and 2 Biology teachers who have taught Biology for at least three consecutive years were purposively selected to participate in the interviews. The study found that lack of relevant teaching and learning resources, lack of laboratory equipment, lengthy NSSCO Biology syllabus, overcrowded classrooms, and school management’s lack of commitment constitute the school-based factors affecting Grade 12 learners’ academic performance in NSSCO Biology in the study area. The Biology teachers managed these factors through: networking with professional colleagues within the same school clusters, organizing after school classes, and improvising on available teaching materials. It is however, recommended that: the schools management seek support from government, donor agencies and philanthropic organisations for relevant teaching and learning resources, including laboratory equipment. The management should also step up their supervisory role as it is an important part of quality assurance measures that could support teaching and learning.