Determinants of Pupils’ Enrollment in Lower Primary Schools in Kirinyaga County, Kenya
Mugo, Martin Machine
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Enrolment of pupils at primary school level in Kenya has constantly increased since independence. Following the launch of Free Primary Education (FPE) enrolment has considerably increased in lower primary schools. This has been eventually boosted through the introduction of free primary education. Despite this effort by the government, there are still many challenges related to wastage in education. There are still low enrollment rates among primary schools in Kenya. This study aimed at investigating the determinants of pupils’ enrollment in lower primary school in Kirinyaga East Sub-County, Kirinyaga County. The specific objectives of the study were to; establish whether alcoholism determines enrollment trends, find out whether family structure determines enrollment trends, and establish whether parents’ level of education determines the enrollment trends in lower primary schools in Kirinyaga County. This study was based on the ecological systems theory of child development by Bronfenbrenner in 1968. Descriptive survey design was adopted. Random sampling technique was used to select 26 public primary schools an equivalent of 10% of the target population. Purposive sampling was used to select 26 school head teachers. Random sampling was used to select 77 lower primary school teachers and 152 parents. Data was collected using questionnaires and interview guides. A pilot study was conducted in two schools within the County before the main study to evaluate and improve the study instruments appropriately. Raw data obtained from the respondents were sorted, cleaned and scrutinized for errors. The study used descriptive statistics such as frequencies, percentages, mean and standard deviation to describe the data obtained from the field. Cross tabulations were used to establish the relationship between the independent variables and dependent variables. Findings indicated that majority of parents who were engaged in alcohol had the highest number of children who were not enrolled in ECDE centres implying that abuse of alcohol adversely affected the enrollment of children in Kirinyaga County. There was a significant influence of family structure on the trends of children’s enrolment. More so, this situation was worsened when the living style of parents was coupled with alcohol abuse. The study concludes that alcoholism, family structure, educational level and employment status of the parents all contribute to the enrollment trend in schools. Based on the findings of the study, it was recommended that the key stakeholders including headteachers should commence programmes which facilitate sensitization of parents and the community, as a whole, on the importance of education to their children.