Determinants of drop out rates in public primary schools in Mutonguni Division, Kitui County
Ngangi, Eunice Ndunge
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the determinants of pupils drop out in public primary schools in Mutonguni Division, Kitui District. The study was necessitated by the trend of low retention rates and drop out patterns in the Division. The objectives that guided the study. were to establish the socio-cultural, economic & school related factors influencing drop out rates in the Division. The study adopted ex-post facto survey research design. The study was conducted in eight primary schools, two each from Katutu, Musengo, Tulia and Kauwi educational zones in Mutongoni Division. It targeted 67 head teachers, 510 teachers and 27,336 pupils. All the eight head teachers of the eight schools studied were studied, stratified random sampling was then employed to select class six and class seven pupils, while class teachers of the same classes were included in the study .. Two sets of questionnaires were prepared, one for collecting data from teachers while the other for collecting data from pupils. Data from head teachers was collected using interview schedules. Instruments for this study were validated through application of content validity, which is determined by expert judgement, while Pearson's product moment formula for test-retest was employed to compute their reliability. A reliability coefficient of 0.75 was attained, and was considered good enough for the instruments. The researcher collected data personally from the pupils, teachers and head teachers. Qualitative data was analysed by thematic and content analysis, while quantitative data was analysed using descriptive statistical tools, tabulation and triangulation. The study findings revealed a combination of socio-cultural socio-economic and internal school factors conspired to cause school dropout of pupils in Mutongoni Division of Kitui District .. In this respect, factors like early marriages, early pregnancies, death caused by mV/AID's & stigma. herding of cattle or house chores family problems like polygamy, divorce. GT separation, poverty, child labor, negative peer influence, lack of feeding program (lunch) in school, overloaded curriculum, lack of role model and instability in families were responsible for pupils' drop out of school. The study recommends that the community liviag in Mutonguni Division should be sensitized to avoid allowing their children. male or female, to get married at early stages as this causes dropout of the married. children.. In the same vein, Parents in the division should take greater care of their children, especially daughters, to ensure that they avoid early pregnancy. Further, the curriculum should be reviewed to reduce the workload, feeding program be introduced in primary school while guidance and counseling programs be strengthened in schools to improve pupil chastity. Given that the study was conducted in a relatively smaIl environment, the study recommends that a similar study should be conducted in the rest of tile country so as to get more generalized findings for use throughout the country.