Influence of school feeding programme on participation of pupils in public primary schools in Kilome Division, Makueni County, kenya
Reuben, Rebbecca Mumbi
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This study set out to establish the influence of School Feeding Programme (SFP) on participation of pupils in public primary schools in Kilome Division with a view of suggesting possible interventions for corrective action of SFP. While various attempts have been made to support SFP in the ASAL regions, the programs have faced numerous challenges that adversely affect pupils’ education. The objectives of this study focused on finding out the influence of the SFP on attendance, enrolment and dropouts of primary school pupils in Kilome Division of Makueni County. Additionally, the study sought to suggest possible interventions that would ensure success of SFP in enhancing primary education. The study could serve as an informative document to educational stakeholders on how lack of food which is a basic need can lead to wastage in education. The study adopted descriptive survey design where four public primary schools were selected through simple random sampling technique. The fifth school was purposively sampled. It had long and uninterrupted SFP supported by NGOS; hence in-depth knowledge on the subject under study. The respondents included: Headteachers, Sub County School Feeding Program Officer (SCSFPO), Area Educational Officer (AEO), teachers and Standard Seven pupils. Census sampling procedure was used to select one SCSFPO and one AEO. Purposive sampling was used to select the 5 headteachers of the sampled schools. Simple random sampling was used to select 35 teachers and 100 Standard Seven pupils. The total sample comprised of 142 respondents. The instruments for data collection were questionnaires for teachers and Standard Seven pupils, interview schedules for head teachers, SCSFPO and AEO. Observation schedule was used by the researcher for assessing conditions of the resources that enhance the SFP. In addition, documentary analysis reviewed class registers for daily attendance of pupils, school enrolment registers for the school enrolment and headteachers data sheet for total number of dropouts in the year were used for the study. The qualitative data was analyzed and presented thematically in line with the objectives of the study. Further, quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive statistics which included excel computer programme .The findings were presented in frequency tables and bar graphs. Conclusions were made based on the findings. The study findings revealed that: -four out of five schools in the study area did not have the SFP. This meant that only one school had the SFP supported by Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs). Parents were attracted by the SFP to take their children to school at an early age thereby minimizing the possibility of late entry. The government is the main supporter of the SFP after withdrawal of World Food Programme (WFP), hence; it is facing financial constraints in funding the feeding programmes. The study further found that Food acts as a strong incentive for attracting pupils to school in food insecure regions. The study recommended that the government, NGOs and all SFP stakeholders should ensure proper and regular SFP in all public primary schools in the ASAL regions. Finally, on suggestions for further study, a research can be carried out on the impact of the Home Grown School Feeding Programme (HGSFP) on pupil’s participation in education in the Arid and Semi Arid Lands in Kenya.