Strategies employed by school actors to alleviate wastage in public primary schools in Njoro district, Nakuru county - Kenya
Oino, Joseph Onsarigo
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Education is one of the most powerful instruments for reducing poverty and inequality and it lays a foundation for sustained economic growth. School wastage is a grave issue resulting from serious causes. There are overwhelming statistics that higher numbers of boys and girls dropout of school or repeat classes in different parts of the world. The general objectives of the study were to investigate the strategies employed by the school actors to alleviate wastage in public primary schools in Njoro District in Nakuru County. The study was guided by the following specific objectives; to identify the main causes of repetition and dropout in public primary schools in Njoro District, to establish the strategies used by public school teachers to mitigate wastage in Njoro District and to establish the strategies used by public primary school management to alleviate wastage in Njoro District. The study was guided by Social Darwinisim Theory of Equal Opportunities that asserts that each person is born with a given amount of capacity which to a large extent is inherited and cannot be substantially changed. The key literature review of the study was concept of primary school wastage, factors influencing wastage and the role of school actors in mitigating wastage. The study adopted descriptive survey design. The study targeted 84 headteachers, 889 teachers and 5 quality assurance officers. Out of this target population, 88 class teachers, 17 headteachers and 3 quality assurance officers were selected as sample of respondents using purposive and random sampling techniques. Data were collected using questionnaires for teachers and headteachers. Interview and observation schedules were used to gather information from quality assurance officers. Quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive statistics through Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Descriptive statistics were presented by use of frequencies and percentages. Data collected through interview were examined for completeness and relevancy in order to ascertain their usefulness, adequacy and probability. Qualitative data analysis was thematic. The following are findings, of the study that majority of the school headteachers, teachers and quality assurance officers indicated that their schools experienced cases of dropouts and repetition. The major reasons cited why pupils dropout were; poverty, lack of moral support from parents and poor performance. The study exposed that pupils repeat in classes in Njoro District because of the following reasons: poor performance, irregular school attendance and lack of advice from teachers and parents. To curb wastage, the respondents cited the following strategies; carrying out sensitization programmes to parents on the value of education, guidance and counseling and conducting remedial programmes. The following conclusion was drawn from the study:- that, poverty, lack of moral support, irregular school attendance, forced repetition, early marriage, orphan hood, contributes significantly to primary school wastage in the district. Strategies suggested by respondents were creating guidance and counseling in schools, adoption of remedial teaching, and adherence to automatic promotions and carrying out sensitization programmes to parents to value education and avoid charging unauthorized levies in schools.