Secondary school tuition waiver and its effects on transport from primary to secondary schools in Kaptama Division, Mt. Elgon District, Kenya
Cherui, Rodgers Gowon
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Since the declaration of education as a basic human right by the United Nations (UNESCO 2002), the Kenya government has taken radical changed to reform its education sector to conform to the United Nation Charter. On coming to power in January 2008, the Kenya Grand Coalition Government waived tuition fee for secondary school student. This Secondary School Tution Waiver (SSTW) is also known as Free Secondary Education (FSE). It aims at safeguarding the progress made by the introduction of free primary education, to cushion parents against increasing cost of education, increase transition rates and access to secondary schools and to help reduce education wastage. However, the percentage of students graduating to secondary school is still low at 60% nationality and regional disparities still exist (Daily Nation Reporter 23rd February 2010). The purpose of this study was to assess Secondary School Tuition Waiver and its effects on transition from primary to secondary schools in Kaptama division of Mt. Elgon district. The objectives of this study were to determine trends and performance of national examination in primary schools, to establish the transition rates from primary to secondary school, determine Gross Enrolment Rate, and other factors other than fees that affect transition to secondary schools, and to propose corrective policy options for educational planners to make secondary education more effective. The conceptual framework pointed out how free secondary education and other factors are interrelated to affect transition to secondary schools. The researcher used descriptive design in conducting the study. This study entails describing, recording and analyzing the conditions that exist. The study was carried out in Kaptama Division of Mt Elgon district. The researcher targeted all the 6 principals of the secondary schools in Kaptama division, 20 head teachers of primary schools in Kaptama division, Area Education Officer and the District Education Officer. The researcher used purposive sampling technique to identify primary schools. One primary school was identified per location. Questionnaires, interview schedules and document analysis were used as instruments for data collection. The secondary principals, DEO/AEO were subjected to interview schedules while for primary school head teacher, questionnaires were used. Secondary data was obtained from the district education offices and schools. Reliability of the research instruments was determined using spearman rank order where a correlation index of 0.87 was obtained. Validity of the research instrument was determined using expert judgment. Data collected was analysed through the use of Microsoft excel package. Frequencies mean and percentages were derived from the data and the results presented in form of frequency distribution tables and bar graphs. The findings of the study revealed that despite the introduction of SSTW, KCPE performance is still poor, transition rate to secondary school has not yet reached the targeted national percentage of 70% and there’s a significant rise in the enrolment in secondary schools. The study recommended that a girls’ only school should be established in the division to cater for the girl child since there was no single girls school in the whole division, the government should develop a policy on the disbursement of the bursary fund and the amount of SSTW disbursed to schools should be increased.