Parental Support and Boys’ Retention in Public Primary Schools in Kenya
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Parents are the primary educators for the children. Their involvement in the education of the children can determine the value attached to education by the children. Keeping children in school until the completion of an education cycle is important for the attainment of educational goals. It has been noted that the retention of boys in primary school among the pastoralists in Kenya is declining. This study sought to address this concern by establishing the influence of parental support on the retention of boys in public primary schools in West Pokot County. The study employed a mixed methods approach to collect both qualitative and quantitative data. The study targeted 663 head teachers, 790 class-teachers and 6861 class eight boys in all the 663 public primary schools in West Pokot Count and 5 sub-county quality assurance officers who were purposively selected. Quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and regression analysis while qualitative data was analyzed using thematic content analysis and narrations. The study found out that lack of parental support in terms of parental involvement in boys’ schooling, engagement in child labour, negative parental attitude, parental illiteracy and inadequate provision of learning materials was a major impediment to boys’ retention. The regression model showed that the influence of parental support was statistically significant at α= 0.000 (p˂ 0.05). This led to the conclusion that parental support influenced boys’ retention in school. The study recommends that the government of Kenya through the Ministry of Education should formulate educational policies that aim to promote direct parental involvement in boys’ education, the County government of West Pokot should encourage initiatives by the community and civil rights organizations to create awareness on the importance of education and repercussions of low retention of boys in school.