Factors that contribute to student absenteeism in Nakuru East Division: a case study of Lanet, upper hill and Mereroni Day Secondary Schools
Ali, Roseline Aluoch
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The main concern of this study was to find out whether there were cases of student absenteeism in day secondary school of Nakuru East Division. It also attempted to determine the factors that contributed to student absenteeism. More specifically the study attempted to: (a) Investigate the causes of student absent in Nakuru East Division; (b) Find out what necessary steps headteachers were taking to reduce the problem; and (c) Suggest some possible solutions to the problem. The project was limited to three (3) day secondary which were randomly selected in the division. Three headteachers, thirty class teachers, sixty students and thirty parents were selected to serve as the subjects for the study. Questionnaires used for data collection were administered to class teachers, students and parent from the selected schools. An interview guide was also administered to the headteachers of the selected schools. The data collected were analyzed through the use of descriptive statistics. After analysing the data, it was found that student absenteeism was a problem affecting all the selected day secondary schools. The major cause of student absenteeism in the selected schools were: a) Lack of school fees b) Sickness c) Family problems d) Withholding by parents e) School based reasons f) Distance to school g) Temporary employment h) Truancy i) Community influence j) Bad company The research realized that student absenteeism created serious administrative problems. The major problems faced by headteachers of the selected day secondary schools were: student poor performance in examinations: problem of dealing with statistical returns; failure to cover the syllabus, time wasted in dealing with absentees and behaviour problems. It was also realized that in order to solve the problem of student absenteeism, parents had a great part to play. Other groups of people who could be of great help include local leaders, education officers and church leaders. The following are some of the conclusions reached from the findings of the study: a) Student absenteeism is a problem worrying the family, the school and the society at large. b) Persistent student absenteeism affects individual performance in examination. c) Some factors contributing to student absenteeism can easily be controlled if different group of people co-operate to solve this problem. d) School administration cannot solve the problem without the help of other groups of people like parents, local leaders and education officers.