Influence of socio-economic factors on transition from primary to secondary education in Mwingi Central District, Kitui County Kenya
The central problem of this study was to trace the influence of socio-economic factors on transition from primary to secondary school level in Mwingi central Sub County; Kitui County. The study sought to establish the factors that influence transition to secondary school. The study also sought to relate the parental level of education and transition of pupils from primary to secondary school. The influence of household income on transition to secondary school and sibling position were also examined. The study employed descriptive survey design and correlation research design to establish the socio-economic factors influencing transition from primary to secondary education in Mwingi Central District. Purposive sampling was used to select samples of fifteen (15) secondary schools from a population of thirty nine (39) secondary schools. The target population of the study consisted of all the five thousand secondary school students in Mwingi central district, one examinations officer from the office of the Ministry Of Education Mwingi Central District, four area chiefs and fifteen K.C.P.E graduates who had not transited to secondary school. Three hundred and fifty seven secondary school students were used as the representative sample. The study utilized a questionnaire as a research instrument to collect data. An interview schedule for Area chiefs, examinations officer and fifteen (15) class eight graduates who did not transit to secondary school in the past three years was used to collect data that may not be directly observed. Both qualitative and quantitative data analysis were used during data analysis. Quantitatively the study used numerical data to explore traits and situations. Responses from questionnaires and interview guides were organized according to pertinent aspects of the study. Descriptive statistics including percentages, mean, frequency counts were used to analyze the data obtained. The results of the data analysis were presented in frequency tables, pie charts and bar graphs. The study established that house hold income greatly influences transition from primary to secondary education. Those K.C.P.E graduates who did not proceed to secondary school indicated that their parents’ occupation was farming and the level of their income was low. This means that these parents were unable to cater for their children’s secondary school education expense. Gender characteristics were found to influence boys’ and girls’ access to secondary school, with the boys being slightly more likely not to proceed to secondary school. Parental level of education also influences children’s chances of getting higher education including secondary school education. The study also found a linkage between sibling position and transition to secondary education. The study recommends that the government possibly through the county governments should facilitate those people living in rural areas appreciate and employ modern methods of farming since most of the people in rural areas of Kenya depend on farming as a source of income. The government and other stake holders should also ensure that people in all needy areas have access to services like the sponsorship of education by the non-governmental organizations. The study also recommends that there is need to sensitize the community on the need for education of boys as well as that of girls. Campaigns for education should focus on both girls and boys lest one gender be overlooked. The study also recommends that adult education should be availed to those who have not had access to formal schooling in the past especially the parents so that they may be able to understand the need for educating their children. Finally the study recommends that clear penalties on those parents who do not let their children proceed with education after completing primary education should be put down and implemented.