The limitation to equalization in primary education: a case study of Bungoma district
Namaswa, George B. H. D.
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The parameter of the discussion of the background of the study and the literature reviewed revolved around Equity Criteria. It was observed that many of the present apparent inequalities in primary education originated in the colonial situation. Research conducted revealed that rather than bridge the gap of inequalities between the advantaged and disadvantaged primary schools in Bungoma, the policies adopted by the Kenya Government, namely: the District Focus for Rural Development and the 8-4-4 Education System, have instead solidified and perpetuated these inequalities, at least, in the short run. This study sought answers to the following general research questions: 1. Are there any inequalities in the distribution of educational resources in primary Education in Bungoma District?, 3. What are the causes of these inequalities? 3. Is it possible to eradicate these inequalities? 4. What limitations are being encountered in eradicating these inequalities? 5. What possible solutions can be offered to remedy the situation? The research involved 150 Primary School Head teachers in Bungoma District and 86 Members of the Public. Data were collected using, 1. Information Data Form. This was a questionnaire that was developed and administered to the 150 primary school head teachers. 2. Personal Interviews were also held in order to evaluate the public's perception of the success and failure of the policies adopted. Data analysis involved coding of the closed items in the Information Data Form whose data was fed into the computer. The information obtained was then tabulated and reported descriptively in Chapter IV. Results of the study revealed that whereas substantial amount of work had been done on the construction of Std. 8 classrooms, there was a wide variation in terms of construction of Workshops and Home Science rooms. Research findings also showed that there were disparities in land owned by primary schools for agricultural purposes. On teacher qualification and distribution, the findings showed that there is a serious imbalance in the distribution of trained teachers between urban and rural primary schools in Bungoma District. This imbalance has had a negative impact on the quality of primary education in the district. Data obtained also indicated that there was a considerable disparity in public expenditure between the urban and rural primary schools. This disparity arose chiefly because of the variation in the communities' socio-economic background. With all these inequalities existing, the researcher wanted to find out whether they could be eradicated. Research Findings obtained showed that the Kenya Government launched two policies namely: the DFRD and the 8-4-4 System of Education in an attempt to eradicate the disparities existing. But, rather than bridge the gap of inequalities, the two policies adopted had instead solidified them. As to why equalization process could not be effective, the researcher found out that lack of finance, shortage of trained manpower, inaccessibility of some of the schools, long distances between rural schools and the District Education Offices, and the negative attitude on the part of parents coupled with their low income-generating capability are all limitations that have hindered the equalization process. These limitations were discussed in details and the following recommendations, amongst others, were then made. The researcher recommended that: (1) The Government should try to appropriate funds for the construction of primary schools' facilities, or consider assisting in the process of raising funds on self-help basis. (2) All Area Members of Parliament and Civic leaders should work in harmony and take an active role in the harambee fund-raising for primary schools in the district. (3) The Ministry of Transport and Communications should consider the construction of good access roads on equal basis to rural areas in order to facilitate transportation services. (4) There is need for more interaction between local and national representatives and the rural people. This would encourage the people to be more development conscious. (5) The District Education Officer should systematize the deployment of trained teachers. (6) There is need for constant inspection and supervision of teachers and schools in order to ensure effective teaching and learning. These recommendations necessitate a need for further research in this same area but elsewhere in the country in order to generalize on the effectiveness of the DFRD and the 8-4-4 System of Education as policies designed to bridge the gap of inequalities. Secondly, other studies could also focus on Administration and Management of Education Resources and how to realize maximum efficiency of the education system in the country.