Impact of contituency development,fund bursary on retention of students in public secondary schools in Gatundu north constituency of Kiambu county, Kenya
Muigai, Simon Kinyi
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The purpose of the study was to establish the impact of (CDF) bursary fund on retention of students in public secondary schools in Gatundu North Constituency, Kenya. The study was guided by the following objectives: to establish the number of students who have benefited from the CDF bursary fund for the period 2010 - 2013; to find out how the bursary scheme has impacted on retention of students in secondary schools in Gatundu North Constituency for the period 2010 - 2013; to determine the challenges being faced in the management and disbursement of CDF bursary fund in Gatundu North Constituency; and to find out the strategies that could be employed to improve the management and disbursement of CDF bursary fund in Gatundu North Constituency. The study employed a descriptive survey design targeting all the 32 principals and 9,708 students in all the 32 public secondary schools in Gatundu North Constituency. Stratified random sampling was used to sample 15 schools for the study; each strata representing boys' only, girls only, mixed gender schools. Simple random sampling was used to select 370 students while purposive sampling was used to select 15 principals and 5 CDF bursary committee members to participate in the study. Prior to the actual data collection, a pilot study was conducted in-two schools in the constituency to test the validity and reliability of the questionnaires. Data was qualitative and quantitative. Quantitative data collected was coded and entered into an SPSS programme for analysis. Qualitative data was analyzed under themes consistent with the research objectives. Data was presented by use of frequency tables, bar graphs and pie charts. The study established that CDF bursary scheme is playing an important role in addressing the needs of needy children to access secondary education. However, the study established there was still a large proportion of students' with deserving cases, meaning bursary funds allocated in the Constituency was not adequate to cater for all the needy students. Results showed that majority of the principals reported that over 40.0% of the students were in need of bursary funds, meaning that the amount allocated for the bursary scheme only catered for a small proportion. The study also found out that students were still experiencing outstanding fee balances even after receiving bursary funds and most of them have ever been sent home for school fees balances more than three times. The major challenges faced in the management of bursary funds were large number of applicants, inadequate funds, delayed disbursement of funds and lack of clear guidelines for identifying needy students. The study recommends that government should increase the CDF funds allocated in each constituency to ensure more students benefit from the bursary scheme; the CDF bursary committee members should disburse funds on time and in line with the school term calendar to ensure that beneficiaries were retained in school to study instead of staying at home to look for funds; amonga other recommendations.