Efficiency implications on quality of public day primary schools in Kyeni Division, Embu county, Kenya
Munyi, Muthoni Catherine
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Although major strides have been made in education in Kenya, the system exhibit high levels of inefficiency, particularly at the lower levels. This is evidenced by high national pupil-teacher ratio, poor performance in national examinations and high wastage as a result of drop-out rates and low transition to secondary level. Efficiency of primary education has been camouflaged by the desire to promote access to education by increasing education opportunities to school-age population, in a bid to achieve Universal Primary Education (UP E). The country is now faced with the problem of a trade-off between enhancing efficiency of the education sector and increasing primary education. This study was intended to find out the efficiency implications on quality of public day primary schools in Kyeni Division, Embu County. The study was descriptive in nature. The researcher used research instruments such as; Questionnaires, Interview Schedules, Focus Group Discussions and Observation Checklists. The target population was 26,250 pupils and 560 teachers in public day primary schools in Kyeni division. Purposive sampling technique was used to select ten (10) public day primary schools out of thirty five (35) schools in the division. The selection of the respondents was done using stratified random sampling technique. Five hundred and twenty (521) individuals were respondents. They included 10 head teachers, 10 School Management Committee (SMC) chairpersons, four hundred (400) students, hundred (100) teachers and 1 (one) Area Educational Officer (AEO). Data was processed and analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics with the aid of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Percentages, frequencies, means, and standard deviations were used in data analysis. To present data, tables, graphs and figures were used. The findings of the study established that schools lacked enough resources which affected the quality of teaching-learning thus low achievement of learners. There was also increased dropout, repetition as well as low completion and transition rates. Therefore, the recommendations of the study are; increasing budgetary allocations to the schools in order to improve the quality and quantity of inputs, recruiting more teachers, regular in-servicing of teachers to improve their pedagogical skills, economic empowerment of parents so that they are able to meet both direct and hidden costs of education, initiating school feeding programmes to boost school attendance and ensure retention; and making primary school curriculum more attractive; as well as revamping youth polytechnics to strengthen and create centres for vocational and skills training.