School-based determinants of promotion rates among public primary schools in Suba Sub-County, Kenya
Otieno, Tobias Onyango
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Education is the foundation towards enhancing people‟s capacity based on life skills, knowledge and experiential wisdom in order to acquire economic and social prosperity. In spite of the rationale for the development towards Free Primary Education in Kenya, there are concerns regarding its efficiency based on enrolment and graduation rates in most regions in Kenya. This study was aimed at finding out the school based determinants of the flow of pupils through primary school cycle in Suba Sub-County basing on promotion rates. The specific objectives of this study were to: determine promotion rates among pupils; determine influence of pupils-textbook ratio on promotion rate; establish influence of pupil-teacher ratio on promotion rate; .establish relationship between pupil-closet ration and promotion rate; and determine relationship between availability of playground and promotion rates in primary schools in Suba Sub-County. A descriptive survey design was adopted for the study. The study targeted 91 public primary schools in Suba Sub-County, 91 head teachers of these schools, 455 teachers, and 36,400 pupils of classes one to eight. Using a simple random sampling, three out of four zones in the Sub-County were selected for the study; 15 public primary schools were selected proportionally and randomly from the three zones which represents a percentage of 16.5% of the total schools. All 15 headteachers of the sampled schools participated in the study. The researcher sampled 5 class teachers from each of the 15 schools from upper primary of classes 4-8. The researcher also used simple random to sample 375 pupils for the study. Interview schedule and questionnaire were used as data collection tools. The researcher conducted a pilot study in which the instruments of the study were pre- tested to check on the validity and reliability. The researcher attained a correlation coefficient of 0.76 and thus the instruments were accepted. Personally, the researcher administered questionnaires to both the pupils and teachers after getting the necessary permits from the authorities. The collected data were fist coded, edited and entered in the computer for analysis. The data were organized and presented with the aid of bar graphs, pie charts and frequency tables. The study found that that promotion rate in classes for cohort 2013/2014 decreased from 82.15% in class four to 62.92% in class eight. Majority of teachers strongly agreed that promotion was affected by high pupil/textbook ratio however pupil/teacher ratio was more significant factor affecting promotion of the pupils from one class to the next. It is evident from the results that availability of playgrounds did not greatly affect the promotion trends in most primary schools. The study concluded that parents should be involved in pupils‟ academic progress and school activities in order to be more informed about the importance of education in children. A strategic mechanism should be established by the Ministry of Education towards providing adequate trained teachers in order to enhance internal efficiency by reducing pupil repetition. The study recommended that schools administrators should strengthen community involvement in school management and parental concerns about school activities. The government should provide the available textbooks, reference materials that single pupil can have his/her own, which may give opportunity to every child to have education materials in each school.