Household and School-Related Determinants of School Dropout among Students in Mixed Day Secondary Schools in Bomet County, Kenya
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The Education Sector in Kenya and other parts of the world has faced many challenges particularly dropouts, which is an indicator of low internal efficiency during the past two decades. The Kenyan government introduced Free Day Secondary Education in 2008 to increase access rates to secondary education which will in turn result in increased completion rates hence increased transition rates. This study sought to determine and analyze the dropout levels of Mixed Day Secondary Schools in Bomet East Constituency of Bomet County Kenya for the period between the year 2012 and 2015. This study examined why students drop out of school and what can be done about it. This study was guided by three objectives, namely; to determine the characteristics of students dropping out from day secondary schools, to determine the school-related factors leading to school dropout and to determine the household factors that lead to school dropout. The study was based on The Classical Theory of Equal Opportunities and Social Darwinism which assert that each person is born with a given amount of capacity, which, to a large extent, is inherited and cannot be substantially changed. Descriptive Survey Research Design was used to collect data from Head teachers, teachers and students of the sampled Mixed Day Secondary schools in the constituency. Piloting was carried out in two mixed-day secondary schools in the County. Primary data on dropout levels was obtained from the respondents using structured questionnaires and interview schedules. Percentages and Frequencies were used to analyze the data. Statistical analysis was done using MS Excel Spreadsheet. The findings of the study are expected to benefit the school managers especially the Board of Management (BOM), the Parents Teachers Association (PTA) and Schools‟ Principals, as well as the Ministry of Education (MOE) in making decisions about efficient management of Mixed-Day schools in order to curb the problem of dropout. It was found that the characteristics of students who drop out are students who get pregnant when in school, financial problems, family factors, wars, family child labour, over age students, operating motorcycle business, drug abuse, peer influence, migration to other areas and negative attitude to schooling. It was also found that certain school characteristics lead to students drop out namely; poor performance, expulsion, and school dislike, long distance to school, gender violence, inadequate learning resources, harsh punishment and hatred towards a teacher. The identified household factors that lead to dropout are female genital mutilation, early marriages, family income and cultural beliefs. It was recommended that all the principals, teachers, and parents to undertake professional guidance and counseling courses. It was also recommended that schools and the community should support the needy students. Schools should also acquire relevant teaching and learning resources.