An assessment of factors contributing to educational wastage in secondary schools in Kericho County
Bernard, Orwasa K.
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The purpose of the study was to assess the factors that contribute to educational wastage in Kericho County. The study sought to achieve the following four objectives: (i) to determine the nature of educational wastage in secondary schools in Kericho County, (ii) to identify school and home-based factors which lead to educational wastage in secondary schools within Kericho County, (iii) to identify socio-economic factors contributing to wastage among secondary school students in Kericho county, (iv) to identify policies and strategies at National, County and at school levels aimed at managing educational wastage in Kericho County. Descriptive survey was used to describe the phenomenon under study. The study was conducted in two districts of Kericho County and involved sampled stakeholders in education. Data was collected through a questionnaire, interview schedule for the principals and observation schedule for the researcher. The data was manually coded and descriptive statistics used for analysis. The statistical package for social sciences, SPSS, was used to analyze data and to determine the correlation co-efficient of each independent variable on the stepwise multiple regression analysis as well as the interactive effect of independent variables. A pilot study was conducted to validate as appropriate the research instruments before the actual research commenced. The researcher used split-half method to determine the reliability of the research instruments which scored, r = 0.78. Qualitative data was collected and the findings were presented by use of descriptive narrative, frequencies and percentages. Findings revealed that school and home-based factors contribute to poor performance, repetition and the likelihood of students to drop out of school and the steps that need to be taken to minimize and eventually eradicate educational wastage. The results indicated that the retention rate in all the schools and for all the cohorts is above 78%. The study findings also revealed that repetition rates for boys and girls was 1.7% to 5.1% and 2.2% to 5.1% respectively. The dropout for boys was higher than that of girls at 11.3% to 21.2% and 6.9% to 7.4% respectively for all the cohorts in all the classes. The dropout rates for the base year 2009 were 9% in form 1 and 2. The proportion of Total Wastage due to Student Repetition (PTWSR) was 2.2% to 4.0%, while the Proportion of the Total Wastage due to Students Dropout (PTWSD) ranged between 6.7% and 12.7%. Dropout rates were higher in mixed day secondary schools than in single sex and mixed boarding secondary schools. Dropout rates for boys in all the categories of schools were higher than those of the girls. The County schools performed better, attaining a mean 'score of 8.283 for the same period. DistrictIBoarding schools had a mean score of 6.4475 over the four year period. From the study, it was concluded that poverty was the main factor influencing educational wastage. Dropout rate for the boys in all the categories of schools was higher than that of the girls. More boys than girls dropped out of schools in the county. The study recommended the introduction of single sex schools and reinforcement of the government's policy on automatic promotion of students to the next class as a prerequisite for reduction of educational wastage. Further, this study recommends that further research should be conducted to establish the factors that influence poor maintenance of records and data and its effects on evaluation of internal efficiency in secondary school level of education.