The internal efficiency of public primary schools in Ikolomani South Division, Kakamega South District
Chimakati, Charlly Lwanga
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Primary schooling brings obvious consumption benefits and is demanded by most families, on behalf of their children, in and for itself. Furthermore, Primary education has since 1948 been formally accepted as a universal human right, the provision of which should be ensured by national governments. However an analysis of the current status of primary Education in Kenya reveals access, promotion and completion shortcomings. Several studies and even Ministry of Education statistics have indicated that access, promotion, retention and completion rates are low. However, there has been little actual analysis of internal efficiency nationally and even in Ikolomani South division. This study was formulated to establish the internal efficiency in non-monetary terms of the public primary schools in Ikolomani South Division. The study adopted a descriptive survey design since the independent variables were not manipulated because they had already occurred: their treatment was included by selection rather than by manipulation. The measurement of internal efficiency in education theoretical framework guided the study. In light of this framework, inputs were the most visible elements such as pupils, teachers, school physical facilities and learning and teaching resources.The process was the 'black box' and proxies such as repetition, dropout, retention and survival of pupils were taken to reflect process efficiency while outcomes of this framework were measured by graduation and completion rates, average years per graduate and the coefficient of efficiency. The target population comprised 33 primary schools in Ikolomani South Division. Thirteen (13) primary schools and by extension their head teachers were studied. Proportionate stratified random sampling was used to arrive at a class teacher sample of 65. Systematic sampling procedure was employed to arrive at 5 schools. Focus Group Discussions were conducted in each of these 5 schools. The simple random sampling procedure was used to obtain 65 repeaters, 5 from each of the 13 schools used in the class teachers' sample. Purposive sampling technique was used to obtain information from the area quality assurance and standards officers .. Questionnaires, Interview schedules and Focus Group Discussions were employed to collect data. Both quantitative and qualitative techniques of analyzing data were used. Data on enrolment, repetition, dropout, retention and survival was analyzed using descriptive statistics that is; ratios and percentages. Grade survival, graduation rates and average years per pupil were calculated using already established formulae and the results used to compute the efficiency co-efficient to determine the level of internal efficiency. The results were presented in the form of percentages, frequency tables and charts. The findings indicated that public primary schools in Ikolomani South Division have a low internal efficiency of average years per graduate of 10.497 which translated to an additional 2.497 years needed to produce graduates that require an optimal 8 years of the primary education course. A coefficient of efficiency of 0.762 or 76.2% which was at great variance with the UNESCO recommended coefficient of efficiency of over 0.90 (90%) for internally efficient education systems was established. Based on the study findings, it was recommended that teachers, educational policy makers and education planners adopt strategies that would lower the average years per graduate thus lowering the wastage rate as the first step towards increasing enrolment and completion rates and consequently ensuring an internally efficient primary education system.