The effects of Kenya's subsidized secondary education program on access, retention, equity and quality: a case study of Nyakach Sub - County, Kisumu County, Kenya
Gura, Edward Odhiambo
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The education sector has tremendously grown since Kenya attained independence. From the reports of the various commissions of inquiry and task forces on education, there is evidence of the need to curb the ever rising costs of education to households in order to ensure maximum access and completion rates. The government introduced the Free Primary Education program in 2003. The launch of this initiative saw increased enrolments in primary schools. However, only about 50% of those pupils completing their primary level of education were able to access secondary education as acknowledged by the government in sessional paper No. 1 (2005). This was attributed mainly to the rising cost of financing secondary education by many households. MOEST suggested an initiative for the implementation of Free Secondary Education (FSE) along the same line as FPE programme in all public secondary schools with effect from January 2008.The government of Kenya (GOK) specific target was to achieve transition rates of 70% in 2008 and 80% in 2012 from primary to secondary school level from the then rate of 50% (2005). The government aimed to have 90% to 100% completion rates by 2015. The government therefore introduced the Subsidized Secondary Education under the FSE program in 2008. The researcher carried out a descriptive study on the effects of the Program among public schools in Nyakach District of Kisumu County. The objective of this study was to assess the effects of the program on Access, Quality, Retention and completion rates and Equity. The target population was 920 respondents consisting of 58 head teachers, 857 teachers and 5 educational officials. The sample size was 225 respondents made up of 20 head teachers, 200 teachers and 5 educational officials. Proportional sampling was used to select the head teachers, purposive sampling to select the educational officials. Questionnaires were used to collect data from the head teachers, teachers and divisional education officers, while an interview schedule was applied on the district education officer. Observation guidelines were used to collect data on physical and instructional resources. Validity of the instruments was done through the help of the researcher‘s supervisors who are having expert in research in his area of specialty and through piloting. Reliability was tested through test- retest technique and Pearson's Correlation Coefficient formula used to compute the reliability coefficient, a correlation coefficient of 0.84 was established. Data analysis was done using the SPSS after editing and coding. Descriptive statistics was used to analyze quantitative data while qualitative data was analyzed through thematic analysis and a report made. The following were the findings: the implementation of the program negatively affected the quality of education offered in the schools; the program has also not succeeded in ensuring gender equity. However the following positive outcomes were documented; the program improved access among other things. The researcher recommends a need to incorporate other government agencies like CDF, Economic stimulus package and NGOs to supplement the FSE funds. To increase the number of teachers and to upgrade their capacities through refresher courses and to create day wings in all boarding schools to expand access.