Efficiency in resource utilization in primary schools in Kenya: a case of Gatundu North District, Kiambu County, Kenya
Ireri, Peter Njiru
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The Kenyan government introduced free primary education in 2003 in order to fulfill the commitments of the World education forum of 2000 as well as to make education accessible to all school age children irrespective of their social class. This initiative led to an upsurge in primary school enrolments with the resultant effects of numerous strains on human and material resources, high dropout rates and poor performance in national examinations. As a result of this, the government has been undertaking many reforms aimed at addressing the challenges resulting from education service expansion. The overall purpose of these reforms has been to improve efficiency in education provision by addressing factors that influence learning. Thus the purpose of the study was to assess the level of resource utilization in primary schools in Gatundu North District of Kiambu County. The research aspired to give possible suggestions on how resources can be used efficiently in primary schools. Since the introduction of FPE in 2003, a number of educational reforms have been put in place to address equity and access to education service but no significant ones have been made to address the way the resources provided by the government are being utilized. The objectives of the study were; to investigate the trend of examination performance over the years, to assess the availability and use of educational resources in the district and to investigate factors that may hinder efficient use of resources in the district. The study employed the theory of production as education today is viewed as a service where products are expected after using inputs. The study adopted a descriptive survey design and utilized both qualitative and quantitative approach. The target population of the study was 58 public primary schools in Gatundu North District. A total of 12 sample primary schools were selected using random sampling from the three existing zones. This formed 20% of the total school population. For each selected school, the head teacher and 5 teachers were targeted to respond to questionnaire items yielding 12 head teachers and 60 classroom teachers. Teachers were first stratified into male and female strata. There was also classroom observation and interview schedules for quality assurance officers. Pilot study was done with two schools neighboring the district and a reliability of 0.85 was established. Quantitative data was coded and analyzed using SPSS. Qualitative data was analyzed by arranging them according to objectives, research questions and themes. Data was then summarized using frequency tables and graphs. Inferences, conclusions and recommendations were then made. The findings revealed that from 2006 to 2011, almost all the schools in the district have been performing below average. It also revealed that some physical facilities and other strategic resources needed to support learning activities were lacking. The study also established that learning materials especially books were not adequate in the schools. Teachers prepare curriculum documents but most of them don’t use teaching aids regularly. To improve on KCPE performance, the study established that there is need to involve all the stake holders on matters related to the education provision and early syllabus coverage in all subjects at all levels. Use of resources was mainly hindered by their unavailability. The study recommends that all education stakeholders focus on equitable provision together with proper use, management and monitoring of educational resources in order to ensure efficiency in their use. The study was necessary in order to ensure efficiency in resource utilization in Gatundu North District.