Factors influencing access and participation in primary school education among urbun slums communities in Thika Municipality
Waweru, Mary Muthoni
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Literacy among slum families in Kenya is low and is seen to be another possible dimension contributing to the low participation in education. The purpose of this study was to examine factors influencing pupil's access and participation in primary school education among Thika municipality urban slums communities. It was justified by the fact that educational situation in Kenya for slum children is poor as has been documented by researchers and the Kenyan government. The objectives were to analyze the influence parental involvement, instructional practices, community resources and self efficacy/attitude in pupils' access and participation in Primary School. It was based on need hierarchy theory. The study adopted descriptive survey design on a population of teachers and pupils from schools in Thika slums. There are currently 23 public primary schools in Thika Municipality of interest in this study were only 7 schools out of these as they serve the named slum; that is Gichagi, Matharau, Kiang'ombe, Kisiwa and Kiandutu. The study adopted purposive sampling technique for teachers and head teachers and simple random technique to identify pupils in class seven and eight pupils as the respondents. A structured questionnaire was used on the head teachers as well as slum pupils for the collection of data. Prior to the main research, the researcher pre-tested the instrument to enhance its content validity and reliability. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data from the questionnaires. The responses to open-ended questions were re-examined, read and re-read in order to identify emerging themes. The themes were coded differently and fed into SPSS again as new variables to establish the number of times each theme was mentioned. From the findings, parent involvement was found as one of the key components in determining access and participation of pupil's in primary school education as indicated by 100% response on agreement from both the teachers and head teachers. In addition head teachers and teachers in these schools agreed that children educated in slums are taught in a way that prepares them for academia, but not for jobs dealing with manual labor. Community resources were stated to have a great influence on pupils' access and participation in primary school education, through secure and safe environment as indicated by 71.4% response by teachers and head teachers. On impact of self efficacy or attitude, the study found that education will make children successful in life, majority put extra effort in education apart from the class work as indicated by 90% response by teachers and head teachers. The study concluded that parent involvement, instructional practices, community resources, and pupils' self efficacy or attitude greatly influences pupils' access and participation in Primary School education. The study recommended that Parents should acquire sufficient education as it influences their involvement in children education to a very great extent. In addition proper guidelines in teaching and assignment provision, and safe environment should be intensified to enhance more participation of children in slums.