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Factors influencing dropout of pupils in public primary schools in Kenya: A case study of Kakamega municipality

Author: 
Peter Otieno Ogada and Enose M. W. Simatwa
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

Although progress has been made in increasing enrollment in many countries, these gains are undermined by large number of pupils who take more than one year to complete a particular grade or dropout before completing the primary cycle. In Kakamega District, where Kakamega Municipality is located, the high enrollment was short lived as the dropout rate rose from 2.4% in 2003 to 10.9% in 2004 and then declined to 1.2% in 2007. The purpose of this study was therefore to find out factors influencing dropout in public primary schools in Kakamega Municipality. The objective of the study was to determine factors that influence dropout of pupils in public primary schools in Kakamega Municipality. A Conceptual Framework consisting of independent variables and dependent variables was used to guide the study. The study adopted descriptive survey research design. The study population comprised of 25 head teachers, 457 teachers, 1548 standard 8 pupils, 50 class 5 to 7 dropouts and one Assistant Education Officer. Simple random sampling was used to select 480 standard 8 pupils and 115 teachers while saturated sampling was used to select 23 head teachers and one Assistant Education Officer. Snowball sampling was used to select 25 dropouts. Questionnaires were used to collect information from Head teachers, teachers, dropouts and pupils. In-depth interview schedules assisted in getting information from the Assistant Education Officer. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics in form of frequency counts and percentages. Face and content validity of the instruments was assessed by three experts in Planning and Economics of Education. Reliability of the instruments was determined through pilot survey in 2(8.0%) schools using test re-test method. The Pearson Product Moment correlation coefficient was 0.9 for Head teachers’ questionnaire, 0.7 for teachers’ questionnaire, 0.75 for pupil dropout questionnaire and 0.8 for pupil’s questionnaire. Qualitative data was transcribed into emergent themes and sub-themes and reported. The findings from this study indicated that the factors that influenced drop out were; poor parental care, poverty, child labour, death of parents, pregnancy, peer influence and indiscipline. The study concluded that dropout was influenced by poor parental care, peer influence, child labour, poverty and pupil indiscipline. The study recommended the need for deliberate efforts to eliminate dropout, sensitization of teachers and parents on the implications of repetition and dropout, better methods of handling indiscipline. These findings are useful to Head teachers, teachers, parents, students and to the Ministry of Education in the formulation and strengthening of policies to eliminate dropout in the public primary educational sub-sector.

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