Effect of Devolution on the Implementation of Pre-Primary Education: A Case of Bungoma County, Kenya.
Wanyonyi, Charles Wafula
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Pre-primary education plays a pivotal role in setting the foundation for better outcomes in post-nursery education. Globally, attention has shifted to how pre-primary education is being implemented both at the national and sub-national levels, with greater financial investments being channelled towards its improvement. In Africa, the quest for universal basic education has forced many countries to rethink how they are implementing pre-primary education, considering that basic education covers education from nursery to secondary school level. In Kenya, prior to 2010, the implementation of pre-primary education was left largely in the hands of private actors. However, the promulgation of the constitution that same year reset the button on this. In the Fourth Schedule of Kenya’s Constitution, pre-primary education is listed as a function of county governments. Not only does this point to a more domesticated degree of supervision, it also flags pre-primary education as a statutory beneficiary of the funds disbursed annually to all devolved units. In spite of this, there has been a gap in empirical studies assessing how devolution, as a structural governance phenomenon, is affecting the implementation of pre-primary education. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of devolution on the implementation of pre-primary education, with specific reference to Bungoma County, Kenya. The study had 3 objectives thus: to determine the effect of financial resource on the implementation of pre-primary education; to examine the effect of legislation on the implementation of pre-primary education; and to assess the effect of human capital development on the implementation of pre-primary education. The study utilised the Diffusion of Innovation theory. The study employed a descriptive research design. Both probability and non-probability sampling techniques were used to identify the respondents who included County Executive Committee Member (Education), County Officials in charge of education from the 9 Sub-Counties, Heads of pre-primary education institutions and the Clerk of the County Assembly. Only Questionnaires were used to collect data. Both qualitative and quantitative data was collected using both primary and secondary data collection methods. Quantitative data was analysed using both SPSS and MS Excel while qualitative data was analysed thematically. The findings were presented in line with the study objectives. The study established that Financial resource (β=0.313, p<0.05) has a positive and significant effect on implementation of pre-primary education. Legislation (β=0.125, p<0.05) has a positive and significant effect on implementation of pre-primary education. This is the case too with Human Capital Development (β=0.103, p<0.05) which also has positive and significant effect on implementation of pre-primary education. The study concludes that devolution has positive and significant effect on implementation of pre-primary education. The study recommends that the leadership of county governments in Kenya should improve on the allocation and management of financial resources for better implementation of pre-primary education. Additionally, all county assemblies should formulate sound laws and policies to strengthen the framework for implementation of pre-primary education. County governments in Kenya should also improve on their human capital development programs as far as the implementation of pre-primary education is concerned.