Impact of tuition waiver on wastage in public day secondary school in Kirinyaga County
There are very many challenges facing secondary school education delivery in Kenya in recent times, leading to high dropout and repetition rates. This made the Government of Kenya (GOK) to introduce provision of tuition fee waiver in public secondary schools in 2008. The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of tuition fee waiver on wastage in public day secondary schools. This was done by assessing the repetition and dropout rates. Specifically this study sought to; determine the dropout rates in public day secondary schools in Kirinyaga Central District, determine, find out other intervention measures that can be used to reduce wastage and find out other factors that may lead students to drop out of school or repeat grades. The findings of this study can help the policy makers in formulating more effective policies on provision of tuition fee waiver. The findings may also benefit other researchers as reference and basis for further studies on the provision of other public subsidies in these schools. The study adopted a descriptive survey design. The target population comprised of all the 19 public day secondary schools in Kirinyaga Central District. The sample population was 9 public day secondary schools. The total number of respondents was 22 comprising of9 principals, 12 class teachers and one District Education Officer (D.E.O). Simple random sampling was used to select schools. Data was collected using questionnaires and document analysis worksheet. Questionnaires were administered on principals, class teachers and the D.E.O while document analysis worksheet was used to collect data from records in the D.E.O's office. Data collection instruments were piloted in two schools within the district. The study sought to answer the problem to whether the provisions of tuition fee waiver in public day secondary schools in Kirinyaga Central District have any impact on wastage. The study was based on Classical Liberal Theory which states that; social mobility will be promoted by equal opportunity to education. The instruments were presented to two experts on education planning from Kenyatta University and one senior personnel from the District Education Office for validation. To test for reliability, test-retest technique was applied. The three questionnaires had a correlation coefficient of 0.76. The quantitative data collected was analyzed using descriptive statistics such as frequencies and percentages. The results were presented in form of tables and bar graphs. The finding of this study revealed a reduced rate of wastage in public day secondary schools after the introduction of tuition fee waiver. Dropout and repetition rates reduced from 2.3 and 1.6 in 2007 to 0.7 and 0.9 in 2010 respectively. The study concluded that, tuition fee waiver had a positive impact on wastage. This study recommended an increase in tuition fee waiver. It also recommended the start of income generating projects in these schools to supplement government subsidies. In-service courses for guidance and counseling teachers should be improved to equip teachers with new skills. The study suggested that further investigation should be carried out on why girls' dropout and repetition rates are higher than for boys. Also similar studies should be carried out on the impact of tuition fee waiver on the other aspects of education such as enrolment, survival and completion rates.