The Effects of Home Environment on Achievement of Day Secondary School Students in Nyandarua South District, Nyandarua County, in Kenya
The problem the Study sought to address was low achievement of day secondary school students in KCSE compared to their counterparts in boarding schools with whom they had similar entry behavior. The researcher was concerned with the trend where, more students were enrolled in day than in boarding schools in Kenya, a trend that picked momentum after introduction of Free Day Secondary Education by the government of Kenya in January, 2008. As more and more students enrolled in day secondary schools, they became exposed to Home Environment factors. The Study sought to determine; whether exposure of day secondary school students to Home Environment factors was responsible for their low achievement and if indeed Home Environment factors was responsible for low achievement of day secondary school students, what were the main Home Environment factors responsible? The research in addition sought to establish what mitigation measures can be employed to arrest this trend. In doing so, the researcher intended to invite the Government of Kenya to re-think whether her decision to introduce Free Day Secondary Education as opposed to Full Free Secondary Education, which was assumed to be on account of its affordability, is tenable in addressing not only issues of access to education and completion, but also provision of quality Education For All at secondary school level and thereby address existing inequalities among children from different economic background. The target population of the study was 12 Principals, 97 teachers and 3,664 students. The Study sampled schools using purposive sampling technique on the criteria of mixed day and boarding secondary school status. A sample size of 6 schools; 6 principals; 30 teachers, 5 from each school; and a total of 288 students constituted the respondents in the Study. Data collection was by use of questionnaires on all the respondents. The study generated both quantitative and qualitative data. Hence, both quantitative and qualitative techniques were used to analyze the data obtained. Quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive statistics. Descriptive statistics involved the use of frequencies and percentages. Pie charts and bar graphs were used to enhance data presentation. Qualitative analysis considered the inferences that were made from the opinion of the respondents. The analysis was then thematically presented in narrative form and where possible, in tabular form. The Findings of the study were that, Home Environment Factors affected the achievement of day scholars compared to their counterparts in boarding schools in Nyandarua South district. These Home Environment Factors were many and varied and affected day scholar‟s achievement to varied degree. However, chief among them were work at home, commuting difficulties, lack of reading materials and room, inadequate parental support and guidance. The Study recommended increased parental support; establishing new and expanding of existing boarding facilities; carrying out of home environment analysis before establishment of new day secondary schools and a review of existing Education Policies in order to address effects of home environment on day scholars. In conclusion, the study pointed out that, Free Day Secondary Education, as it was, may to a large extend, attain increased access to education and completion, but the quality of education offered could not be guaranteed under the prevailing circumstances. This situation, unless corrected, would in the long-run render the Government of Kenya effort fail to address inequalities that existed among students from different economic background.