Social inequality in access, retention and completion rates in public primary schools in Athi-river District Machakos County.
Mbaabu, Betty Ukima
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Research in social inequality with regard to how it affects realization of human success, prosperity and contentment in life has been documented. In education, social inequality has been found to affect how children access and ultimately achieve their educational goals and ensure upward mobility in higher education and careers. Issues of poverty, lack quality housing lack, basic amenities and security among other factors have contributed to under - achievement of education of millions of children in Kenya. The purpose of this study was to access how factors in social inequality impact of learning process among primary school in Athi river district the objectives of the study was to identify types of social inequality challenges, document access to education by primary school pupils, determine the state of retention in school and find out the rate of completion of education by pupils in public schools in Athi river districts. The study adopted descriptive survey research design. The research instruments were administered to 256 respondents. 12 out of 76 schools in district representing 15% of total school were sampled. The data was generated using questionnaires focus group discussion, interviews and observation guide. Data collected was analyzed using statistical program for social science (SPSS) and MS-excel. The finding were represented using frequencies and percentages distribution tables, histograms, pie chart and bar graphs the study found poverty, family back ground (orphans) poor infrastructure, poor pupil teacher ratio, level of parental education, and housing as the major social inequality factors in the community. The study also found accessibility to school as good. However the schools were not enough for all school-age going children. The study found the retention rate was high (80%) with a drop out of (20%) the rate of completion was also high. The impact of social inequality on education of pupil includes poor academic performance, lateness to school, dropping out to school, early employment, marriages and drug abuse. The study recommended employing of more teachers improving school feeding programs and infrastructure. The parents to provide a conducive environment for their children education encourage access and retention of their education. Further research is recommended to find out the impact of social inequality in access retention and completion in secondary and tertiary institutions.