Constraints in the implementation of free primary education in Butere/Mumias district
Kusimba, Wilberforce Nasong'o
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Free primary education was implemented ill Kenya in January 2003 by the Kenya government. The launch was politically instigated. However, the implementation was done without looking at other factors required in educational programmes such as planning, focusing, piloting and other forms of education expertise. The purpose of the study was to unveil the constraints which currently face the implementation. It is true that Kenya being, a member of United Nations and a signatory to the human rights charter, has to join other member states in eliminating illiteracy, poverty and diseases as part of the millennium development goals (MDG) agenda in the 20th and 21st centuries. Education conferences, Jiomtien, Thailand (1990) and Dakar, Senegal (2002) added impetus to universalization and quality of education in member countries. 'The problems that faces the government are over enrollment, shortage of teachers, shortage of learning and teaching resources, financial, lack of well trained manpower, lack of clear guidelines on admission and the quality of education. The abrupt inception of free primary education also poses a transition problem which has affected the entire education system. At inception, the government had not allocated the expenditure on the budget. This had delayed the allocation of funds to schools leading to inefficiency and lack of proper access. The study used the conflict theory and a descriptive survey designed. The target population include school headteachers, school committee members teachers, quality assurance and standards officers and pupils. The study was based in Butere - Mumias District which has a total number of 255 public primary schools and 4 private schools. As a new District, the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education results have been good. It has also witnessed a rapid increase in enrolment after the implementation of free primary education. A shortage of instructional materials, physical facilities and teachers ill schools was evident. Additional responsibility to the headlteacher has affected efficiency in management and supervision. Standards of education are declining gradually because of poor leaching methods and lack of Conducive atmosphere for learning. There is no proper public information about free primary education. The researcher used interviews, observation questionnaire to collect data. From the analysis the research has given recommendations to the government for the purpose of avoiding constraints and suggestions for improving the standard of education in the country.