Family and school based determinants of access and participation in public day secondary schools in Matungulu Sub - County, Machakos County, Kenya
Mulwa, W. Marrietah
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The Kenyan government introduced Free Day Secondary Education in 2008 with an aim of increasing access and participation for children from poor households and increasing transition rate from primary to secondary schools. But studies show that enrolment and participation is still low in secondary schools. The study sought to establish family and school based determinants of access and participation in public day secondary schools in Kenya. The main objective of the study was to determine family and school based factors influencing access and participation in public day secondary schools. The research adopted the classical liberal theory of equal opportunity and social Darwinism which states that each person is born with a given amount of capacity which to a large extent is inherited and cannot be substantially changed and that social mobility is promoted by equal opportunity to education. Literature review was done in chapter two based on the objectives of the study which were to; establish family related factors influencing access, determine school based factors influencing access, determine family related factors influencing participation and find out school based factors influencing participation in public day secondary schools in Matungulu Sub - County. Descriptive survey design was used for the study. The study locale was Matungulu Sub–County in Machakos County. The total population of the study was the 20 Headteachers, 92 teachers and 3,240 students from the 20 public day secondary schools in the district. The main respondents were Headteachers, Teachers and Students. 20% of headteachers and teachers and 10% of students’ population was used for the study. The study used stratified and proportionate sampling to get the actual teachers and students for the study. Purposive sampling was used to sample the teachers and schools while simple random sampling was used to sample the students. This gave a sample size of 4 headteachers, 18teachers and 324 students. Piloting was done in two schools in the neighbouring Sub–County of Kibwezi to establish the reliability of the instruments. The reliability of the instrument was estimated using Cronbach’s Alpha Coefficient where a coefficient of 0.85 was achieved after a test retest of the questionnaire among 2 head teachers, 6 teachers and 12 students in a two weeks lapse period. The study adopted content validity that was established through expert advice from the supervisors. Data was collected using questionnaires and analyzed by use of descriptive and inferential statistics. The study established that access to and participation in secondary education is affected by family factors as education level of parents, child labour, number of children in a family, family economic status, family conflicts and distance to school as well as by school factors such as shortage of teachers, lack of enough physical and learning resources, use of corporal punishments, efficiency of school administration, teachers’ attitude and teachers’ competence. The study recommends that the government should increase fee allocation to cater for other school needs such as food and uniforms to enable the poor access secondary education, the bursary fund from constituency development fund should be genuinely allocated to poor students to enable them acquire secondary and reduce the chances of students engagement in child labour and headteachers should mobilize parents and the communities to support school development projects to enable schools acquire extra physical facilities to accommodate all students admitted in their schools.