A survey of the rate of dropout and the reasons behind it in some selected schools in Kericho district
Wadende, Pamela Akinyi
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The major purpose of this study was to investigate the rate of school dropouts in a few selected secondary schools in Kericho District. Questionnaires and an interview schedule to obtain data were used. These instruments were personally administered to teachers only. Data were analyzed descriptively using frequencies and percentages. Results established that in a class of 40 students, six students dropped out of school and this rate constituted 15% of annual dropout. This big percentage implies that by the time students move from Form One to Form Four, about 50% of them would have left school. The study also found that most students (54%) leave school in November which is the month most schools close for long December vacation. There was also a substantial increase in the number of students who left school in the month of February. This is because that was when most schools carry out pregnancy checks on their students. Most students who left then were girls and this is turn resulted in the number of girls leaving school being more than that of boys. This research found that students who left school behaved in a way that could make their impending action predictable. Most played truant, were rude or uncommunicative. Majority of the teachers (63%) who participated in the study were found to be professionally qualified and holders of 1st degree with education bias. The research found that all the teachers (100%) were 40 years old and below. The reasons for leaving school according to the teachers were mentioned as early marriage, pregnancy, lack of school fees and truancy. The teachers contended that if students were counselled by community leaders, teachers and parents, the situation could be different. They also suggested that pregnancy checks should be carried out frequently on girls and punishment meted out to those who behave in a way pre-disposing them to leave school on both gender. It was a recommendation of the study that apart from the Ministry of Education spending more of its resources on bursaries for needy students, teachers, the school surrounding community should be made more responsible for the drop-out cases. The teachers can be inserviced relatively in ways of confronting the problem and the school surrounding community be involved in school activities like games so as to create a sense of belonging.