The effects of subsidized secondary education on access by gender and the disadvantaged in Kakamega North District of Kakamega County Kenya
Mutimba, Hudson Moses
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Notwithstanding the importance of education in economic development and efforts made by the government to increase access to education, children aged 14-17 years in Kakamega North District had not taken advantage of this and many of them had been seen engaged in a number of petty economic activities instead of attending school. The purpose of the study was to analyze enrollment of students in the District between 2005 -2010, to identify the disparities in enrolment and find out factors affecting access and enrolment rate by gender between 2005-2010, investigate factors affecting enrolment and determine the level of participation by students from low income backgrounds. Descriptive surveys design was used in this study. Stratified sampling was used in areas under study for fair representation of the population of 7,532 students in 35 schools. The target population was 220 students from 11 schools representing 30% and 11 principals representing 11 sample schools. Purposive sampling on the other hand was done for education officers who were respondents in the areas of study. Quantitative and qualitative data was collected through questionnaires and interview schedules. Questionnaires were used to collect data from principals and students, while structured interview schedules were used to collect data from education officers. Data analysis was done using descriptive statistics. Quantitative data was computed into enrolment rates, figures converted into percentages and frequency tables, line graphs and pie charts were used to determine access trends by gender. These methods of data presentation led to the analysis by narration. The data also yielded the factors that influence access in secondary schools in Kakamega North District. The qualitative was analyzed using content analysis. The research revealed a disparity in enrolment in favors of boys, a low enrolment rate at the district level compared to national enrolment rate and low participation rate by students from low income backgrounds. The research recommends increase in the subsidy to keep pace with rising cost of living and sensitization of the public on the purpose of the subsidy on education, provision of more female teachers to act as role models for the girls and establishment of more single sex secondary schools to curb the rampant pregnancies in schools in district.