Impact of subsidized secondary on access to educational resources in public secondary schools in Butere District, Kenya
Akaranga, Judith Gahuya
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The Kenya Government through the Sessional Paper No. 1 (2005) on A Policy Framework for Education Training and Research had anticipated that in the long run, secondary education would be integrated as part of basic education. The move taken to provide subsidized secondary education aims at ensuring that children from poor households acquire quality education that enables them to access opportunities for self ¬advancement and become productive members of society. Subsidized Secondary Education is an effort to attain EFA goals by 2015, by increasing transition rates from primary to secondary by 70% in 2008. The move is quite timely since many households cannot afford to educate their children especially through the current hard economic times. The Kenya Government has undertaken far-reaching measures, such as increasing enrolment in classrooms from 40 to 45 students, tuition waiver and provision of instructional materials to targeted schools in order to increase access, quality, equity and completion rates. However, as observed by Asayo (2009), problems are already being experienced in the provision of educational resources like shortage of teachers, overcrowded classrooms and limited materials. To achieve any meaningful gains from this programme, the exact problems of access to education by 2015, needed to be identified and addressed. The purpose of the study was to assess the impact of Subsidized Secondary Education on access to educational resources. The study was conducted in the then Butere District. A survey design was employed in the study. Stratified and simple random sampling were used to get the sample out of the target population. Data were collected from 14 head teachers, 28 class teachers, 27 PTA members, 278 students, three AEOs and two DEOs making 352 respondents. Data collection instruments included questionnaires, interviews and observation checklists. The instruments were piloted using test re-test method to determine their reliability which yielded a coefficient correlation of 0.64 thus the instruments were reliable. Data were organized, interpreted and analyzed using descriptive statistics such as frequency, percentages, graphs and measures of central tendency using SPSS Package. The findings of the study pointed out that student enrollment had been increasing consistently since the introduction of SSE in 2008 while the basic educational resources were available but not adequate. The study revealed that there was delay in disbursement of funds to schools by the government, shortage of teachers, inadequate physical facilities and instructional materials and parents' negative attitude towards SSE. The researcher concluded that SSE had attracted more students to schools while the facilities were not equally improved therefore causing a strain on the educational resources in schools. The study recommends that the Kenya government disburses SSE funds promptly, posts more teachers to schools, and sensitizes parents and other stakeholders on their role in education among others. It was anticipated that the recommendations of the study would be useful by policy-makers in decision-making to improve the provision of Subsidized Secondary Education in the country.