Socio economic and school factors impacting on children's absenteeism in lower primary schools in Masaba sub-county, Kenya
Matage, Johnson Mogusu
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Educators have long emphasized the importance of class attendance. Only in the classroom many pupils benefit the spontaneous interactions between' the pupils and teacher. Absenteeism means the children will not reap the maximum benefits that are entitled to them. The purpose of this study was to investigate the socioeconomic and school factors contributing to pupils' absenteeism from school in lower primary schools in Masaba Sub-county, Nyamira County Kenya. The study was guided by Maslow's theory of motivation. A descriptive survey design was employed where data was obtained from lower primary school teachers and lower primary school pupils. The study was conducted in Masaba Sub-County, Nyamira County. The target population was all standard three pupils and teachers in the District. Random sampling technique was used to select teachers, while purposive sampling was used to select pupils who participated in the study. The schools were numbered and then randomly selected 10% of the total number of primary schools in the sub-county. The sample of the study consisted of pupils in the sampled schools who are frequently absent from school. A questionnaire was used to collect data from the teachers. Interview schedule was used to collect data from pupils. Pilot study was done in two primary schools. Validity and reliability was tested and established during pilot study. Data was analysed in narration form and by aid of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Descriptive statistics involving frequencies, means and percentages was calculated. The results from data analysis were presented using tables and figures organised according to the objectives of the study and research questions. Pupils' were often absent from school on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday. The socio-economic factors which made pupils to be absent from school included: Parents ask pupils to be absent from school; helping in family business and lack of money for basic needs. The school factors which caused pupils to be absent from school include: Un-conducive school environment; poor relationship with peers and teachers. The strategies used in schools to reduce pupils' absenteeism from schools include: Implementing school rules, banning of unauthorized levies, and effective teaching.