Causes of school dropout among male students in public secondary schools of Embu County Kenya.
Education is a very important aspect in the development of a complete human being. This is due to its whole process of empowering individuals in the improvement of their well being. Addi-tionally, it enables them to participate in national building of the country. However, student drop out is a great threat to the benefits of education in the country regardless of the government’s stress on basic education for all the children in the country. In Embu County, the problem is more pronounced among the boys than girls in secondary schools. In the County not all the boys who enroll at form one in secondary school complete this level of education. Hence this study focuses on the factors that are affecting the boy child’s secondary education completion. The objectives of this study are as follows: to interrogate the school based factors that cause boys to drop out of school in Embu County; to examine the family based factors that cause boys to drop out of school in Embu County; to examine the community based factors that cause boys to drop out of school in Embu County; to examine the student issues that cause the boys to drop out of school in Embu County and to examine the strategies used to combat the issue of dropout among boys in secondary schools of Embu County. The study adopted a descriptive survey design to collect the data from a varied range of respondents on the causes of dropout among the boys in secondary schools of Embu County. The target population for this study was the boys and girls attending public secondary schools in Embu County because the girls interact with the boys have the information on the reasons why boys drop out of school. Students who have dropped out, the parents of the students who have dropped out, teachers, head teachers and education standards and quality assurance officers in Embu County were also targeted. The target population was sampled using simple random sampling, purposive sampling and convenient sampling. Random sampling was used to Select 350 students who are in school, 27 teachers and 20 parents of the students in school. Purposive sampling was used to select 19 head teachers and 5 ESQAS and convenient sampling for the15 drop outs and their respective parents. The study employed questionnaires, interview schedule as the research instruments. The collected data was analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics and organized using the statistical package for social sciences (SPSS). The analyzed data is presented in frequency distribution tables, pie charts, bar graphs and percentages. The study found that the boys were more affected by dropout in the county than the girls. The major causes of dropout were; drug and substances abuse, negative attitude to education by the parents, indiscipline among the students, the socioeconomic activities in the county, peer influence and poverty. As a strategy to curb dropout, the government, parents, the learners and key education stakeholders should all work together in or-der to ensure that the learners complete their education. The study recommends that the govern-ment comes up with policies to ensure that all the school going boys are in school, the govern-ment should increase its funding to secondary schools and ensure that there is equality and fair-ness in terms of the fees that is charged to the students, the education stakeholders, the parents and the religious community should embrace guidance and causing of the boys in and out of school and act as good role models to be emulated by the learners