Parental Socio-Economic Status: An Implication on Pre-Primary Children’s School Attendance in Kibera Sub-County, Nairobi, Kenya
Mwitiki, Janet Ndeto
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School attendance is seen as one of the measures to ensure that all school going children are in school. Children’s poor school attendance is not just a Kenyan predicament but rather a global concern. The Kenyan government in the recent past has put in a lot of efforts to ensure attendance of all school children with the introduction of Free Primary Education (FPE) in the year 2003. Despite these efforts, there have been few studies carried out in Kibera to establish how socio-economic status of parents influence pre-primary school children’s attendance. Much of what has been documented has concentrated on both primary and secondary schools in general. The purpose of this study was to establish how parents’ socio-economic status influence pre-primary school children’s school attendance in Kibera informal settlement. The study was guided by Abraham Maslow’s theory of motivation. Three hundred parents and sixty teachers of sixty pre-primary schools within Kibera Sub County were sampled using multistage sampling method. Data was collected using observation checklists and questionnaires. Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20 was utilized prepared and organized data for analysis. Descriptive statistics were used for quantitative data to determine relationship between parent’s socio-economic status and school attendance. Results were presented in frequencies and percentages and presented in bar-graphs, pie-charts and tables. The findings revealed that large number of parents and guardians were employed in non-formal sector where they were engaged in petty business which they earned very little income and others. Majority of the parents had an income level below five thousand shillings (5000) per month implying that majority of the parents who participated in the study were living under poverty level and it might be hard for parents to adequately get involved in their children’s education at such early stages of growth and development. The study concluded that occupation and economic status greatly influence individuals to either involve their children in home chores and other business activities or to provide educational needs of their children. The study recommended that local government at ward level to advice parents to cooperate with school administration through close supervision of their children regular school attendance for better academic progress through balancing of domestic chores with studies at home.