Effects of school feeding programme on participation in public primary education in Isiolo Central Division, Isiolo county, Kenya
Wamaru, Mugure Eunice
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School feeding program was introduced in Kenya in 1966 with an aim of improving participation of children in primary schools, in relation to enrolment, retention and academic performance. Previous studies carried out to determine the impact of SFP have yielded mixed results. While some studies revealed that SFP improves school attendance and retention, others reported no impact. The study sought to reconcile these conflicting research findings by assessing whether SFP had enhanced participation of children in primary education in Arid and Semi Arid Lands and specifically in Isiolo Central Division. The objectives of the study were to: establish how School Feeding Programme was being implemented in public primary schools in Isiolo Central Division, investigate the extent to which SFP has affected enrolment trends, assess the effects of SFP on retention in public primary schools in Isiolo Central Division, and investigate the extent to which School Feeding has affected performance of pupils in public primary schools. The study was based on the Classical Liberal Theory of Equal Opportunity advanced by John Dewey, which argues that education systems should be designed with a view of removing barriers of any nature that hinder children from lower economic backgrounds from taking advantages of the inborn talents that could accelerate social promotion. The study employed a descriptive survey research design targeting all the public primary schools in Isiolo Central Division. The target population was 27 headteachers, 299 teachers, 10,375 pupils and one District SFP Officer. The study sample comprised of20 (74.1 %) headteachers, 20 (6.7%) teachers, 400 (3.9%) pupils and one (100.0%) District SFP officer. Data was collected using questionnaires for teachers, pupils, headteachers and interview schedule for SFP officer. Prior to the actual data collection procedure, a pilot study was conducted in two schools to test the reliability and validity of the instruments. Data collected was coded and entered in computer for analysis using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Data analysis procedures employed involved both quantitative and qualitative procedures. Quantitative data was analysed using descriptive statistics such as frequency counts and percentages. The qualitative data was analyzed and presented thematically in line with the objectives of the study. The study established that SFP has had impact on enrolment and retention in the schools. It was established that schools had recorded improvements in implementation of SFPs in relation to number of pupils served, amount of food served, consistency in food supply, facilities for food preparation and community participation in the programme. The study also established that SFP had played a big role in improving academic performance of pupils. It was concluded that SFP had greatly improved participation of children in primary education in Isiolo Central division in relation to access, retention and academic achievement. The study recommends that the government should ensure that there is proper and regular feeding programme in all public primary schools in Isiolo Central Division; should deliver food timely to all public primary schools for effective running of the feeding programme and the local leaders should educate parents on the importance of sending their children to school, with or without the SFPs.