To Investigate Factors Affecting the Performance of Students on Distance Learning Mode

Gladwell Kaguu Ikinya, Oddillia Nabwire Okoth


Distance learning programme enhances equitable access to higher education in Kenya. Distance learning was initiated at the University of Nairobi nearly two decades ago to enable teachers upgrade their skills for improved service delivery. Learners in this programme are expected to finance their education their education from own resources. However, the rising cost of living delays completion of the programme by up to 30% as resources are diverted to cater for immediate family needs. Although HELB was established to further higher education, limited financial support from the exchequer makes it difficult to provide assistance to learners outside regular academics programmes. The study was guided by the following objectives; assess the impact of socio-economic, academic and professional background of learners on ability to finance distance learning; establish various modes of finance adopted by learners; explore the challenges faced under the programme and coping mechanisms; evaluate the effectiveness of various funding strategies in terms of accessibility, affordability and adequacy, as well as determine the cost efficiency of distance learning. In addressing the objectives, both quantitative and qualitative methods were used. These included a survey, in depth interviews and desk review to source requisite primary and secondary data impediments to effective participation in the DL included meagre incomes, inadequate time to engage in Income Generating Activities (IGAS), high cost of residential fees, and inadequacy of learning materials. In addressing the issues, a number of coping mechanisms such as disposing off properties, suspending personal development projects, venturing into IGAS such as operating nursery schools, grocery shops, cyber cafes, welding workshops and farming among others were adopted. The study findings revealed that degree programmes by this mode arose from effective cost management practices and distance learning methodologies adopted. Based on the findings, the researcher has however suggested a list of recommendations that will improve the relationship between the dependent and independent variables.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5782 ISSN (Online)2225-0506
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