Determinants of Dropout Rate of the Boy Child in Day Public Secondary Schools in Kirinyaga County, Kenya
Mitaru, Muthike Joram
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The government of Kenya has undertaken certain measures to give basic education to its citizens by introducing Free Primary Education and Free Day Secondary Education. Despite this effort, school dropout for both boys and girls has remained a very serious issue globaly. The main objective of the study was to investigate determinants of dropout rate of boy child in public secondary schools in Kirinyaga County, Kenya. The study used descriptive survey design framework and the target population to this study was principals, teachers and form three boys in public day secondary schools. The study had a sample size of 270 respondents comprising of 10 principals, 60 teachers, and 200 form three boys in the public day secondary schools. Simple Random and stratified sampling techniques were employed to sample out principals, teachers and form three boys. The instruments that were utilized comprised of questionnaires for teachers, questionnaires for learners and interview schedule for principals. Prior to the study, two schools that had similar characteristics but not included in the actual study were identified and used for piloting of the instruments. The technique applied to gauge the reliability of instruments was the split half technique. Validity of instruments was determined using expert judgment. Qualitative data were analyzed thematically and presented in narrative and verbatim form. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to analyze quantitative data. The study findings revealed that influence of parental income is the major determinant to the boy child school dropout in public secondary schools in Kirinyaga County. In conclusion based on the findings of the study, poverty in the region is a major impediment to the retention of boy child in public day secondary schools as they take long when asked to go for fee balances hence, they get involved in child labour to supplement what the parents bring home. This has disrupted the schooling of many boys in the county as the boys are always in and out of school before eventually dropping entirely out of school. The study recommends the determinants to the boy-child dropout rate in this study be addressed through consultative and capacity building forum among parents, teachers and students. Such an approach could help the education ministry with useful information that may enable it to come up with informed decisions to address the boy child dropout. Further research need be done on the role of parenting style in relation to drugs and substance abuse.