Impact of free secondary education on quality of secondary education in Katangi, Yatta District-Machakos County, Kenya
Mutisya, Martin Muindi
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Low completion rate and wastage in secondary schools continue to be areas of great concern to school administrators in Katangi Division. Although Free Secondary Education is intended to mitigate a wide scope of these problems, its implementation does not guarantee effective education. The purpose of the study was to investigate the impact of the introduction of FSE on the quality of secondary education in Katangi Division, Yatta District. The objectives of the study were: to find out the students' enrolment before and after the FSE, to analyze the effect of FSE of physical facilities and teaching learning materials, and to find out the stakeholders perception to the impacts of FSE. The study was based in Katangi Division of Yatta District and was undertaken in 6 public secondary schools. It adopted an exploratory approach using a descriptive survey. The target population included Head teachers, Education officer, teachers and students. The target population was 1692 in the following sample size; Head teachers 6 out of 12, Teachers 36 out of 240, Students 192 out of1440 and one Area Education Officer. The study used stratified sampling and simple random sampling techniques to select the study respondents. The simple lottery was used as follows; Head teachers 50% out of 12, Teachers 15% out of 240, one Education officer and students 13% out of 1440. Questionnaires and interview schedules were used to collect data. Piloting was carried out in two schools not in the sample. Head teachers, teachers and students answered questions in the questionnaires and the Area Education Officer was interviewed. A SPSS application was used to analyze data by editing, coding, classification and tabulation. Pie- charts and histograms were also used to form the basis of report. The study found that there is high enrolment in secondary schools as a result of FSE .Government funding as well as facilities and teaching learning materials for implementation of FSE are inadequate. The study also found that FSE led to understaffing, poor teaching, overcrowded classes, inadequate books, heavy workload due to' understaffing and student indiscipline. The study concluded that the school environment in Katangi Division is presently under pressure from the high number of learners. The methodology currently used in secondary schools education in the division is not suitable in delivering knowledge to the students this is as result of a high percentage of untrained teachers in the division. The study recommends that the community at large should support construction of more school by providing land and labour to reduce high enrollment rates in the existing schools in the Katangi Division. The government should employ enough teachers so as to cater for the rising number of secondary school students in the District. The existing curriculum should be reviewed so as to cater for all the needs of secondary school students so as to adequately and favorably serve them by introducing subjects such as life skills. The government should increase the money allocated for FSE from 10,265Ksh to 20,265 per student per year to cater for high cost of living in secondary schools.