Strategies of promoting enrolment in secondary schools in Kamwangi Division-Gatundu North Kiambu county
Wanjau, Kuria lawrence
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The introduction and successful implementation of the Free Primary Education (FPE) in 2003 saw an unexpected influx of pupils into primary schools which stretched the available resources beyond limits. Policy makers thought that this will translate to high enrolments in secondary schools, which was not the case. Secondary schools continued to register low enrolment rates as before. Bearing in mind the importance of Education in facilitating economic growth, poverty reduction and development of scientific technologies, something has to be done to reverse this trend. This study intended to identify strategies to promote enrolment rates in secondary schools in Kamwangi Division. The objectives of the study were to establish the causes of low enrolment in secondary schools in Kamwangi Division, and to find out the efforts being made by education stakeholders to address the low enrolment rates in the division and to establish the views of key stakeholders on appropriate strategies of promoting enrolment at the secondary level of education. The study adopted a descriptive survey design to collect information for the study. The locale of the study was Kamwangi Division, Gatundu North District. The target population was 52 primary schools head teachers, their deputies and education officers and 27 secondary school principals, their deputies and education officers working in the division. The study sample was 10 primary schools and 10 secondary schools. Simple random and stratified sampling was used. Data collection instruments were questionnaires for head teachers while interview schedules were administered to Education officers, provincial administration officers. Piloting was done; the data collected was edited, coded and entered into various analysis tools by use of statistical package for social science (SPSS). The data recorded was analyzed and presented in frequency tables and descriptive statistics. The study established that the major causes of low student enrolment in secondary schools in Kamwangi division was due to dropping out and forced repetition, high poverty levels, child labour, ignorance by parents and drug abuse among the students. The community preferred educating boys more than girls but boys were more affected by child labour in coffee farms. The Kenya government and the community have put efforts to promote enrolment rates in secondary schools but more needs to be done especially to discourage child labour and change the attitude of parents towards education. The key stakeholders identified strategies of promoting enrolment in secondary school such as: provision of bursaries to needy students, disbursement of free secondary education fund on time to benefit newly admitted student, establishing more day schools to reduce the cost of secondary education, implementing the policy of re-entry of girls who drop out of school due to pregnancy, stiff penalties for those who engage children in child labour and sensitizing the parent on the importance of secondary education.