Factors affecting successful implementation of free primary education policy in Nairobi Province
Lidigu, Sebastian Shikoli
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Since the year 2003 a number of drastic changes has taken place in the way of policy relating to primary education. The government initiated a free primary education policy in order to avoid the number of school drop outs in primary schools due to lack of primary school fees. The initiative was also meant foe the government to offer assistance to the increasing number of orphans who could not get access to primary education. The researcher through action oriented experience realized that there were a number of challenges which were being faced in the process of implementing free primary education policy. These problems were not universal in the sense that each province had its own difficulties. This study investigated the factors affecting successful implementation of free primary education policy in Nairobi Province with special reference to selected public primary schools in Langata Division. Data was collected through primary sources by use of semi and structural questionnaires interview, guides and observation. The content of the instruments was discussed with the course lecturer/supervisor, classmates and through pre-testing on eleven respondents in four public primary schools within the division and relevant adjustments done on the instruments. Data collection was carried out between June 27th and August 10th 2005. A total of 106 teachers which included 4 head teachers, 8 deputy/ senior teachers and 94 teachers from public schools within Langata division of Nairobi province, were studied. The public primary teachers were selected through being put into dusters and random sampling done from each cluster. The researcher himself collected the data. There were 191 Public primary schools in Nairobi province. 14 of these represented 7.3% of the total number of schools. The collected data was analyzed by use of SPSS as per the key research variables, by the use of tables, Frequencies and percentages. The study findings enabled conclusions to be drawn and recommendations made to the respective stakeholders. The study established that there was over enrolment in the public primary schools in Nairobi. This was due to parents transferring their children from private schools and even slum areas to public primary schools. The situation is worse even in relation to teacher-student ratio which stood at 1teacher to 70 pupils while in others it could reach even to 80. it is worth commending that majority of the head teachers in public primary schools are women hence the government has facilitated gender equity in the management of public primary schools. It is hoped that all the key stake holders who the study has recommendation to in chapter five should take their time and implement such policies. This will facilitate successful execution of free primary education policy and in support to the study findings the researcher wishes to suggest that the government should now be prepared to strengthen the informal schools as well as increase the secondary schools. The policy governing these two institutions should be well co-coordinated so as to accommodate those who have come from a background of free primary education system.