Determinants of Internal Efficiency in Public Primary Schools in Maara Sub - County, Tharaka - Nithi County, Kenya
Mutegi, Gerald Nyaga
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Education is a very significant sector in any economy. The gains from education include the formation of human capital necessary for both private and public sectors. Despite increased government funding in education, many pupils in primary schools do not benefit due to drop outs, absenteeism and repetition. This leads to wastage and hence affects internal efficiency in education. This study was aimed at assessing the factors affecting internal efficiency in public primary schools in Maara Sub-County, Tharaka-Nithi County, Kenya. The study was guided by three objectives which were; to determine the trends in retention in public primary schools, to establish the reasons for absenteeism, repetition and wastage and to suggest recommendations on how to curb this negative trend in order to improve internal efficiency in public primary schools. The study adopted the descriptive survey design for data collection. The target population included all the pupils in 103 public primary schools in Maara Sub-County. Data were collected using interview schedules for five educational officers, while questionnaires were used for the 20 headteachers, 50 teachers and 130 pupils. The study adopted “The education production function theory” developed by a sociologist, James, S. Coleman published in 1966. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used for analysis of quantitative data, while content analysis was used in analyzing qualitative data. The study established that absenteeism, repetition, and dropout were the main factors affecting internal efficiency in public primary schools in Maara Sub-County. The study found that the main causes of absenteeism, repetition and school dropouts were poverty, child labour, indirect and hidden charges in school, and teenage pregnancies. The study recommended that abolition of forced repetition, early release of free primary education funds, and Guidance and counselling services to be strengthened to provide counselling services in public primary schools.