Factors contributing to boys' drop out in public secondary schools in Muthambi division, Tharaka Nithi County, Kenya
There are a number of challenges that face the delivery of secondary education in Kenya, and some of them have led to wastage. This is in form of declining completion rates, repetition and drop out of school. If the drop out rates goes unchecked, the problem will hinder the attainment of Education for All (EF A) goals which the government aims at meeting by the year 2015. The purpose of this study was to establish the factors responsible for the dropout problem among boys in public secondary schools in Muthambi Division, Maara District, and to assess the measures that have been adopted to curb the problem. The focus was on the boys in secondary schools which is terminal to many students and which can provide good employment opportunities especially with addition of further training. In chapter two of this study, the researcher reviewed previous studies on dropouts, which are conducted in both rural and urban areas. These studies include Wandera (2004), in Nairobi Province, Nzuki (2004), in Kibwezi Division, Gachungi (2005) in Nyeri District and Rono 1990 in Nandi District. Their findings show presence of dropouts in their areas. These findings cannot be generalized to apply to schools in Maara District which is in a different geographical location and also has different cultural/ socio-economic dynamics. This study also focused on the boys' dropout unlike other researchers who looked at dropout rates in general. Descriptive survey research design was used to gather information about the subject. The study was carried out in the 10 secondary schools within the division. The target population was 10 head teachers and 40 class teachers, 10 households heads and 10 boys dropout selected through simple random sampling. The main data collection instruments was questionnaires, which were administered on the principals and class teachers. The questionnaire sought to establ ish the presence and the causes of the dropout phenomenon and also the measures taken to curb the problem. Document analysis was done to corroborate the information provided by the headteachers and classteachers on the number of the school dropouts. The findings from the study indicate that boys drop out in all the schools in the division. Some of the causes of dropout in schools include school fees, peer pressure, some disliked school among others. The recommendations given to curb the problem include: strengthening guidance and counseling in schools, parents should be more responsible, schools should provide programmes to support the boy child. Teachers and parents should work harder to make the learning environment more conducive i.e both at school and at home .