Secondary school dropout in Kilome division, Makueni district, Kenya
Maeke, Eunice Mwikali
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The study is an investigation of the factors that influence dropout among secondary school students in Kilome Division, Makueni District. The study was guided by the theoretical framework of the functionalist theory developed by Herber Spenser (1860) and Emile Durkheim (1947). It viewed societies as organisms with structures which consist of interrelated parts. These structures play a functional role to the total whole. A school in this aspect is viewed as a social system and there are structures or persons that play functional roles towards it. Failure to carry our duties leads to the collapse of the whole system. Parents, students, community, and the school make up the social system. There are set goals to be attained in a school. Failure to complete the school cycle implies that one party has failed to do the functional role. This leads to wastage. A sample population consisting of 40 students, 20 teachers, 4 principals and 40 parents was used to investigate causes of secondary school dropout. The results revealed that the causes of school drop out in Kilome division were: lack of school fees, drug abuse, indiscipline problems, pregnancy, death of parent/guardian, single parentage, prolonged absenteeism and poverty levels. The instruments for data collection included questionnaires which were administered to the teachers, students and the principals, interview schedules administered to the Area Education Officer, and the area subch ief. The data collected were subjected to qualitative and quantitative analysis. They were analysed using descriptiove statistics. Frequency distribution tables and percentages were used to present the data. Tables and percentage were used because they were easy to read and interpret. The results indicate that reasons for dropping out were indiscipline, lack of fees, pregnancy, low achievement, absenteeism, single parent home and drug abuse.