Cost- Saving Measures in Public Secondary Schools: are These Strategies Making Education Affordable In Kisumu West District, Kisumu County, Kenya?
Nyangia, Ezekiel Onyango
Orodho, John Aluko
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The major thrust of the study reported in this paper was to examine the cost-saving measures employed by school managers to make education affordable in public Secondary Schools in the study locale of Kisumu West District. The objective was to establish the extent to which these strategies had reduced the cost of subsidized secondary education to become affordable to all, especially among students from poor backgrounds. The study was premised on Cost Effectiveness Analysis based on the works of Hanusek (1986) and Levin (1995) who contend that analytical decision should take incorporate alternatives of both costs and consequences in a more systematic way. A descriptive survey research design was adopted to guide the study. Combinations of purposive and stratified sampling techniques were used to draw a sample size of 103 subjects comprising of 10 principals, 60 teachers, 30 members of the PTA, and 3 Ministry of Education officials deployed in the study locale. Questionnaire for teachers and principals were used to collect quantitative data while interviews with members of the PTA and Ministry of education officers generated qualitative data. It was established that despite the introduction of free day secondary education (FDSE), the latent cost of secondary education was still high and beyond the reach of the poor households. As a result, schools in the study locale had devised cost saving measures including: outsourcing basic services like transport services, converting classrooms into microlibraries, sharing facilities with neighbouring institutions , introduction of income generating activities and assigning multiple tasks to staff, amongst others. Despite these innovative strategies, the cost of education had not substantially decreased for a majority of students from poor backgrounds. It is recommended that the Government of Kenya through the Ministry of education should increase the amount of capitation and also encourage schools to intensify income generating and cost saving measures geared towards making education affordable by all [310 words]