Effects of Cattle Rustling on Access and Participation in Primary Education in Alale Division, West Pokot County, Kenya.
Simatwa, Barnabas Cheromoi
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This study investigated the extent to which cattle rustling had impacted on pupil‟s access and participation in primary education in Alale Division, North Pokot Sub-county. The study investigated enrolment, retention, drop-out and absenteeism rates of both pupils and teachers in schools. It also evaluated general performance of schools‟ KCPE results. It is intended that this research will shed light to education stakeholders in this region so as to manage better children‟s access and participation in education in this cattle rustling prone region. This study was guided by „cattle complex‟ theory advanced by Melville Herskovits (1926), which posited that pastoralists hold insatiable, irrational and irresistible love for cattle. This theory explains why pastoralists would use any means including stealing cattle from their neighbors in order to maintain a large herd of cattle. The study reviewed related literature on causes of cattle rustling among pastoralists and effects on pupils‟ access and participation in education. It also reviewed Government, NGOs and Religious Organizations efforts in education matters. Descriptive Survey Design was used to elicit information from the respondents. The study was limited to 5 schools within Alale Division. The study sampled out 200 pupils and 20 teachers from the 5 sampled schools for the study. The respondents comprised of Headteachers, an education officer, an administration officer, NGO official, a religious leader and 15 members of the community. The research instruments used for collecting data were questionnaires, interview schedules and Focus group discussions. The reliability of the instruments was determined using test-retest technique. To measure validity of the instruments, the researcher availed the instruments to the supervisors for scrutiny to determine if they addressed adequately the objectives of the study. The study generated both qualitative and quantitative data which were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. The results were presented in the form of frequency distribution tables, bar graphs and pie charts. Based on the research findings, the researcher found out that indeed cattle Rustling was an impediment towards Access and Participation in primary Education in Alale Division. There were high school drop-outs, Absenteeism of both teachers and pupils, poor schools infrastructure and general insecurity. All these translated to low quality of education as realized from poor exam results. The study recommended that boarding schools to be increased to shield the pupils from negative cultural practices and to guaranteed them maximum security. The community also needed sensitization to have mental shift from cattle rustling to embracing other alternative sources of income. However, the researcher pointed out areas of research gaps that can be exploited for further research to improve education in North Pokot Sub-county. Study can be conducted on effects of Cattle Rustling on secondary schools and also on how CR is affecting girl-child education.