11.0 GEOGRAPHY (312)
The year 2010 KCSE Geography examination was presented in two papers: paper 1 (312/1) covers the “physical geography and map reading” while paper 2(312/2) examines “Human and economic geography, photographic interpretation skills and simple arithmetic calculations”. Each of the two papers had ten (10) questions.
This report analyses the performance of candidates in the year 2010 Geography examination papers, paying special attention to the poorly performed items It looks at what the questions tested, the candidates weaknesses and possible reasons for their poor performance. It also gives advice to Geography teachers with the aim of improving future performance in the subject.
11.1 GENERAL CANDIDATES PERFORMANCEThe table below shows the overall performance in Geography over the period 2007 to 2010.
Table 17: candidates overall performance in Geography for the last four years
The following observations can be made from the table above:
11.1.1 The candidature decreased slightly from 112,446 in 2009 to 112,402 in 2010.
11.1.2 There was an improvement in performance in paper 1(312/1) from a mean of 33.29 in 2009 to 37.26 in
2010. However, there was a drop in performance in paper 2 (312/2) from a mean of 42.56 in 2009 to
38.00 in 2010.
11.1.3 The decline in the performance of paper 2 to a mean of 38.00 led to the decrease in the overall mean to
74.98 in 2009 from 75.73 in 2009.
11.1.4 The best performance over the four year period was in the year 2007 which had an overall mean of
11.1.5 The standard deviation in both papers shows a reasonable spread of candidates scores.
The overall performance of the subject declined as some questions were performed poorly. These will be discussed in the following section.
11.2 PAPER 1 (312/1)
The performance of candidates in this paper improved from a mean of 33.29 in 2009 to 37.26 in the year 2010. This report looks at questions 6(c)i and 7 (a) which were performed poorly.
Question 6 (c) i (Mapwork)
Explain three factors which have influenced the distribution of settlement in the area covered by the map.
WeaknessesMany candidates only mentioned the factors that influence distribution of settlement without mentioning the distribution.
There are many settlements in the Eastern part of the area because the land is slopping, which makes construction easy.
There are clusters of settlements where there are markets/urban centres such as Homabay because there are social amenities and economic activities that attract settlements.
The hilly areas around Run has few or no settlements because the land is steep/ ragged which makes construction difficulty! costly.
There are no settlements to the south-west because the area is set aside as a national reserve and it is forested.
Some shores of Lake Victoria have no settlement because they are poorly drained! marshy which discourages human activities.
Homabay Municipality area is the most densely settled because it has a dense road network and water transport for easy movement.
There are few settlements in the area west of Easting 50 and North of the national reserve due to low rainfall which discourages agriculture.
Advice to teachers
This was a question that tested the skills of identifying distribution of population on a ensure that they teach the candidates these skills of identifying distribution patterns and factors that affect them.
Question 7 (a)
The map below shows sonic vegetation regions of the world. Use it to answer questions (a) and Yb),
map. Teachers should be able to explain the
in the shaded area marked D
WeaknessesMany candidates were not able to name the temperate grasslands vegetation marked G on the map
marked on the map and could not identify the
(1) Name the temperate grasslands marked B, E and F (ii) Describe the characteristics of the natural vegetation found
Expected response(a) I
- The forests consist of mixed variety of tree species.
- The trees shed their leaves at different times of the year/ forests are evergreen
- The trees are tall/straight with large trucks.
- The trees have broad leaves/drip-tipped leaves.
- The trees take long to mature.
- The tree species are mainly hardwood.
- The trees grow close to each other.
- The forests have little or no undergrowth.
- Trees have smooth barks.
- The forest has numerous lianas/climbing plants/epiphytes.
- Some of the trees have buttress roots.
- The forests have canopies.
- The forest crowns form three distinct layers.
Advice to teachers
This was a question that tested the skills of identifying types and distribution of grasslands in the world.
Teachers should ensure that they teach the candidates using maps for the candidates to be able to locate the
different types of vegetation.
11.3 PAPER 2 (312/2)
The performance of candidates in this paper droped from a mean of 42.56 in 2009 to 38.00 in the year 2010. This report looks at questions 2(b) and 8 (b) ii which candidates had problems answering.
Question 2 (b)
State four physical conditions that favour cocoa growing in Ghana.
WeaknessesThe candidates were not able to give specific information required in a case study.
High temperatures/temperatures of 24°C to 30°C.
High rainfall/l,200nun - 1,500mm/high well distributed rainfall throughout the year.
Deep, well drained( fertile) soils/loamy soils/ light clays/ volcanic soils.
High relative humidity / 70% - 80%.
Shade from strong sunrays for the seedlings.
Shelter from strong winds.
Undulating lowlands/0 to 750 m above sea level.
Sunshine for ripening of the pods.
Advice to teachers
In the case of case studies, specific information is required, for this question the mention of figures was crucial in the answers.
Question 8 (b) (ii)
Explain three ways in which energy crisis affects the economy of Kenya.
WeaknessesThe candidates were required to give the crisis and show how it affects the economy of Kenya, but most of them only gave the effects without the crisis
- The increase in the prices of crude oil makes Kenya to spend a lot of foreign exchange in importation. This lowers the foreign currency reserve which brings about unfavourable balance of trade which slows down the rate of economic growth.
- Increase in oil prices triggers the increase in the prices of commodities/inflation leading to low standards of living/ high cost of living.
- Increase in oil prices leads to increase in the prices of farm inputs which in turn lead to reduced agricultural production/leads to food crisis.
- The high cost of fuels increases the cost of production slowing down industrial growth.
- Oil crisis leads to scarcity of by-products of oil leading to shortage of raw materials for certain industries/ high prices of byproducts.
- Increase in fuel prices leads to increased transport costs which trigger price increase in almost all the sectors of the economy.
Advice to teachers
The teachers must emphasize the importance of highlighting the crisis and then the effect in such a question.
11.4 GENERAL COMMENTS
11.4.1 Teachers should effectively cover the syllabus within the time allocated.
11.4.2 Teachers should desist from using unapproved revision materials and set standard tests for revision.
11.4.3 The teachers should teach their students to understand the rubric and follow it.
11.4.4 The teachers should train the students to avoid using a generalised approach to answer questions based on case studies.
11.4.5 Teachers should use teaching and learning aids like maps, charts and atlases in geography lessons for the learners to understand better the concepts.
11.4.6 There is need to in-service geography teachers to handle the syllabus.
What it takes