Impact of family income on participation in primary education in Buuri District, Meru County
Githinji, Joan Muthoni
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of family income and the constraints it presents to primary school participation in Buuri district. The objectives of the study included; to determine the major sources of income among families: to establish the impact of family income on school participation, to determine the availability of teaching/learning material, to suggest ways of subsidizing parents effort in meeting educational costs. This research adopted a descriptive research design. The study sample size was 46 teachers, 46 parents, 23 head teachers and 642 students. Data collected was be analyzed using descriptive statistics. The study established that the provision of the basics not catered for by the Free Primary Education program but was catered for by parents was poor and that pupils' school attendance was low. Among the major reasons that resulted in pupils' abseentism which was reported to be on regular basis includes lack of school fees, helping parents/guardian at home, caring for their sick parents, diseases, pupils' involvement in income generating activities and poor nutrition. The study also found out that parents paid extra tuition, bought uniforms, and bought books in support of their children's education. However, the majority of the parents reported that they were facing constraints in financing pupils education. The study also concluded that the school parents' major economic activity was small-scale farming. The study also concluded that there is a gradual decline in pupil's enrollment, access and participation in education for the past five years despite the inception of free primary education by the government. The study also concluded that parents paid extra tuition, bought uniforms, and bought books in support of their children's education. The study recommends that to avert the problem of declining pupil's participation in primary education the government and other stakeholders should invent new policies and strategies to that ensure pupils from low-income families have access to education. The study further recommends that the school management and other policy makers in the education sector should come up with policies and strategies to ensure pupils from low-income families have access to education.