The Effect Of Subsidized Secondary Education On Retention And Access to Secondary Education In Mwingi Central District, Kitui County, Kenya
Muasya, Nicholas Kisu
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Education is a major tool for enhancing a country's development. The Universal declaration on human rights in 1948 by the United Nations Organization (U.N.O), to which Kenya subscribes, embraces education as a basic human right. This research sought to find out the effect of the introduction of subsidized secondary education on access and retention to secondary school education in Mwingi central District. The purpose of the study was to examine the effect of subsidized secondary education on access and retention in secondary education in Mwingi central district. It analyzed the enrolment and retention trends in secondary schools in Mwingi central district four years before and after 2008 and identified other factors affecting access and retention in secondary schools in Mwingi central district. The objectives of the study were to analyze the enrollment and the retention trends in· secondary schools in Mwingi central district in the periods 2004- 2007 and 2008-2011 as well as identifying factors affecting access to and retention in secondary school education in Mwingi central district apart from cost/financing of education. The findings of the study will provide information to the Ministry of Education, education planners and donors on the level of success of FDSE. The research employed Darwin's classical liberal theory on equal opportunities. The study used an exploratory survey research design. The target population of the study was all the 26 public secondary schools arid IDEO in Mwingi central district. A total of 10 secondary schools were purposefully sampled. Questionnaires were administered to the principal and 4 class teachers of form one to form four in each sampled school as well as the DEO giving a total of 51 respondents. The researcher used .questionnaires, analysis of documented data as research tools. Piloting was done in two secondary schools in Mwingi central district which were not part of the actual study group. Test retest was used to measure the reliability of the research instruments using Pearsons product moment formula. The research instruments were analyzed by experts competent in the area of research to ensure their validity. The collected data was subjected to both qualitative and quantitative analysis. Qualitative data was analyzed in narrative form while the quantitative data was analyzed by use of percentages, mean and frequencies. Tables, bar graphs and pie charts were used to present data for easy interpretation. The research findings indicated that the mean enrolment for Mwingi central district had increased from 94 to 164 students per school in the periods 2004-2007 and 2008-2011 respectively, with girls recording a higher increment. Retention was higher in the period 2008-2011(89.82%) compared to 204-2007 period (88.08%). Discipline, transfers, lack of fees and illness were cited as factors affecting access to and retention of students in secondary schools in Mwingi central district. The research concluded that enrolment and retention had increased since the introduction of FDSE. Discipline and pregnancies and early marriage were noted as the major factors affecting the retention of boys and girls in secondary schools in Mwingi central district respectively. The researcher recommends that the government increases the funds allocated per student. It is also recommended that school administrators put measures to address the issue of indiscipline and pregnancies and early marriage in secondary schools in Mwingi central district to increase students' retention in secondary schools.