Influence of familybased factors on schoolattendance among three-to-eight year old’s in Kitui County, Kenya
Uthutu, Mumbe Agnes
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In order to achieve success in education, regular school attendance is emphasized. Despite the efforts imposed to ensure regular school attendance, cases of low school attendance are still experienced. Studies done on low school attendance have not included family based factors. The purpose of this study was to find out the extent to which family based factors influence school attendance among children aged three-to-eight years. The study was carried out in Kitui County. The rationale of choosing Kitui County was the fact that, it appeared no studies had been conducted in rural areas on influence of family based factors on school attendance. The objectives of the study were; to find out the extent to which parental care influences school attendance among three to eight year olds, to establish how food insecurity in the family influences school attendance among three-to-eight year olds in Kitui county, to find out the extent to which parental attitude influence school attendance among three-to-eight year olds in Kitui county and to determine how violence at home influences school attendance among three-to-eight year olds in Kitui county. This study was guided by Durkheim’s Anomie theory on a targeted population of 3200. The research employed a mixed research method approach which involved both qualitative and quantitative methods. Random sampling was employed in selecting 20 teachers and 60 parents from the 10 selected schools making a sample size of 80 respondents. Descriptive survey design was used. Data were collected using questionnaires and interview schedules. Questionnaires were administered to teachers while interview schedules were used to collect data from parents. Pilot study was conducted in four schools to test the validity and reliability of the instruments. Qualitative data analysis was done through thematic analysis while quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive statistics such as frequencies and percentages. The data were presented in bar graphs, charts and tables. Findings revealed that parental care, food insecurity, parental attitudes and family violence influenced school attendance among children aged three- to- eight years. The study concludes that there is a direct relationship between the family based factors and the rate of school attendance of three- to- eight years old. The study recommended that the School committees consider the means by which parents/care givers could have access to school information from a range of sources such as holding class based meetings and Telephone Help lines.