Factors contributing to educational wastage in public and private secondary schools in Municipality Division, Nyeri District, Central Province, Kenya
Gachungi, James Muriithi
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The delivery of secondary education in Kenya has been marked by numerous challenges some of which have culminated in wastage. This wastage has resulted from non-enrolment, declining retention and completion rates, grade repetition and dropout in schools. These forms of wastage will hamper the attainment of EFA goals which the Government target to meet by the year 2015. The purpose of the study was to establish the factors that are responsible for educational wastage in secondary schools in Municipality Division of Nyeri District; asses the extent of the wastage, and establish whether the schools have put up measures to curb the problem. The objectives of the study were: to find out the causes of educational wastage in both public and private secondary schools; to document the nature and extent of the non-enrolment, repetition and dropout in the schools; to establish whether the schools have put intervention measures to curb the problems, and to find out whether the Government policy on re-entry of pregnant girls to the school system is implemented by the schools. The study adopted the descriptive survey design and was carried out in 7 secondary school in Municipality Division of Nyeri District. The target population comprised of 7 headteachers, 47 class teachers, the AEO in-charge of the Division and 5 dropouts. This made a total of 60 respondents. Stratified sampling technique was used to select the schools. Simple random sampling was used to identify the dropouts. Data collection instruments comprised of open-ended semi-structured questionnaires and an observation schedule. The questionnaires were administered on the headteachers, class teachers, the AEO and the dropouts. The observation schedule was used by the researcher to obtain data on student enrolment from the monthly school returns. The instruments were pre-tested on a small portion of an identical sample in the neighbouring Tetu Division. The pre-testing helped to refine the instruments before they were applied in the actual research. The data collected was analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) programme and it was put in form of tables, figures and percentages. The study found that a number of factors contributed to the wastage in secondary schools. Lack of fees was a major contributing factor to non-enrolment and dropout in schools. Indiscipline and teenage pregnancy also contributed significantly to dropout. Repetition was attributed to increased chances in acquiring better grades in the KCSE examination and parental requests after student's transfer from other schools to help them gain academic momentum. The study noted that majority of the schools had put intervention measures to curb the wastage. Such measures included guidance and counseling to reduce cases of indiscipline and recommending students from poor families for bursaries as a way of retaining them in school. Based on the findings, the study made the following recommendations: MOEST should increase bursary allocation to secondary schools to cater for the increased number of students from poor families. The bursary should ensure that the students attend school regularly without interruption. Parents and communities should be sensitized on the need to provide more learning facilities and resources so as to promote effective teaching and learning and thus improve the retention of students in schools. Schools should be encouraged to start income generating projects to supplement their income to enable them give grants to students who are unable to pay fees. Teachers in-charge of guidance and counseling should be given refresher courses to equip them with practical skills which can assist them to reduce cases of indiscipline, teenage pregnancy and drug abuse among others. Teachers should institute remedial teaching to weak students to assist them to improve on their performance rather than opting to repeat. The policy of school re-entry for pregnant girls on giving birth should be reinforced. Education officials, headteachers as well as parents need to be reduced. There is need for education officials to ensure that schools' regularly accurate statistical information to the relevant offices.