Influence of family breakdown on pre primary school children’s learning outcomes in Kiambu County, Kenya
Ngina, Gatura Pasaka
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The rising number of family breakdown worldwide is a great concern which has prompted the researcher to conduct this study. When tragedy strikes; most parents are not able to attend to their children’s needs immediately after divorce or separation. Divorce and separation destroy the relationship between parents and children. Due to family conflicts and breakdown the child may be pre-occupied with worries at home, withdrawn and not able to fully get involved in school activities hence resulting in low learning outcomes. The purpose of this study was to establish the influence of family breakdown on children’s learning outcomes in Limuru Zone, Kiambu County. The objectives of the study were to find out the prevalence of children from broken families in Limuru Zone, Limuru Sub County, to establish the factors responsible for family breakdown in Limuru Zone, to find out the relationship between family breakdown and pre-primary school children’s learning outcomes, to examine the extent of family breakdown on the learning outcomes of boys and girls and to establish the role of pre-primary teachers in assisting children affected by family breakdown. The Humanistic Theory by Abraham Maslow (1970) guided the study. The study employed descriptive survey design. The sample included 10 (63%) public primary schools, 20 (49%) preschool teachers, 134 (10%) parents who had divorced/ separated in the last 6 months to 5 years or so during the study period and 134 (10%) children from broken families. Questionnaires for parents and interviews for the teachers were used to collect data. Pilot study involved two primary schools and from them six teachers were selected which is 3 per school as well as 10 parents and 10 children meaning 5 per school who are from divorced or separated families, though they did not take part in the final study. Content validity was used to measure the instruments through investigating their content with consideration to the study’s objective. Reliability of the instruments was ensured through split half method. Spearman correlation (rho) was employed to correlate the scores from the instruments using correlation coefficient of 0.73 as acceptable or reliable. Data collected was analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively. Qualitative data obtained through interview schedules was written down by sampled parents; the notes were compared, categorized and organized by using different themes guided by the research objectives. On the other hand, quantitative data obtained through questionnaires was organized and analyzed using frequencies and percentages. Tables, pie charts and bar graphs were utilized in presentation of the findings. With regard to inferential data, hypothesis was tested at a level of significance of 0.05. After the study, relevant suggestions were obtained to help alleviate the general well being of families and children under focus.