Home and School Determinants of School Dropouts in Public Mixed Day Secondary Schools in Laikipia County, Kenya
Ringera, Moses Mwirigi
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Education participation is a crucial factor impacting the life chances of everyone globally. Despite the investment on education by the government, Kenyan schools are still experiencing dropout. This study was undertaken mainly to investigate the home and school determinants of school dropout rates in mixed day secondary schools in Laikipia East Sub-County, Laikipia County. The specific objectives of the study were to investigate: the direct home- based factor determining the school dropout rates; the indirect home- based factors determining the school drop outs rates; the direct school- based factors determining the school drop outs rates; and the indirect school- based factors determining the school drop outs rates in public mixed day secondary schools in Laikipia East Sub-county. The study was based on Maslow‟s theory of human motivation. This study employed descriptive survey design, where independent variables were home and school determinants of school dropout rates. The intervening variable was government intervention whereas the dependent variable was the school dropout rate. The target population for this study involved students who dropped out of school, from all 15 mixed day secondary schools in Laikipia East Sub-County- Laikipia County between 2013 and 2017. The study applied snow balling and accidental sampling technique to sample the school dropouts. For the school dropout students, ten percent (217) of the target population of 2166 was selected. The researcher adopted the questionnaire as the primary instrument of data elicitation from school dropout and key informants who comprised principals and teacher counsellors. Observation method was the secondary elicitation method. The researcher pre-tested the questionnaires using 2 teachers, 2 principals and 10 school dropout from two of the secondary schools in Laikipia Central Sub-County which were randomly sampled. The researcher reviewed the data for the completeness of the questionnaires after completing the data collection and before embarking on compiling and coding the data. Coding was carried out to make data reduction feasible and manageable for analysis by using numerical values. The data was coded and entered into the Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet and transferred for analysis to the Statistical Software for Social Scientists (SPSS). Simple frequencies, percentages, and means were used to tabulate and interpret the quantitative data. Qualitative data derived from open-ended questions were evaluated on the basis of the research goals and research questions and inferences and conclusions were drawn afterwards. Using frequency distribution tables and percentages, the results were then presented. The study found that direct home determinants are preoccupation of parents and guardians, impact of distance of school from home, and family size of school dropouts. The study concluded that the fear for failure in exams recurrently, cost implication, and teachers „characteristics including professional qualification and experience were the major determinants of school dropout. It was recommended in the study that the Ministry of Education should ensure that there are adequate day schools to ensure that students do not walk over long distances to get to school. The teacher counsellor should be relieved of their teaching duties and should preferably be the school chaplain. The study further recommended that all day secondary schools to be fully developed, equipped and given enough personnel.
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