Effect of pupil enrolment on quality of education in public primary schools in Kenya: A case study of western division of Nakuru county, Kenya.
Yugi, Millicent A.
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The Kenyan government policy of Free Primary Education (FPE) has led to increased enrolment in public primary schools, yet the corresponding learning infrastructure to support the policy has been wanting, With negative effect on quality of education. To this end, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of enrolment in public primary schools on quality of education in Nakuru Municipality. It traces the roots of FPE in Kenya to the immediate post-colonial era to the eventual full implementation of the policy initiative in 2003 when the Net Enrolment Ratio (NER) saw a 23% increase nationally, while in Nakuru it increased by 18% from 36,443 in 2002 to 43,199 in 2003. By 2011, Nakuru enrolment had, reached 63,075. While examining the problems that have been associated with the in6r¢~sed enrolment in public schools in Nakuru, the study was limited to Western Division of the Municipality. It involved sampled teachers and pupils in all the public schools in the division. This study adopted a cross sectional survey design with study units being drawn from representative public primary school teachers and pupils in Nakuru Municipality. A sample of 96 teachers and 2400 pupils wasrandomly selected from 24 public schools in Western Division of Nakuru Municipality. This survey design enabled the researcher to gain understanding of the relationship between enrolment rate in public primary schools 'and learning facilities and how they impact on quality. Purposive sampling was used on the category of teachers to enable the researcher to include both male and female teachers in the study, since 72% of teachers in the division were female. Structured.questionnaires were used to collect primary data on teachers, pupils and school characteristics. Secondary data was collected from academic journals, textbooks unpublished theses, the internet and records at the Municipal Education Office (MEO). Data collected was analyzed .. using descriptive statistics including frequency tables, measures of central tendencies' (mean) and dispersion (standard deviation), cross tabulation to describe, analyse ana 'present the study findings, Findings from the study revealed that the FPE programme .had led to increased enrolment in most of the sampled schools, with huge class sizes whereas the teaching load for most teachers was big, and available school facilities were inadequate. Furthermore, the current staffing level was the strongest impediment in realization of the objectives of FPE thereby affecting Performance in examination as the workload for the teacher has continued to pile. Based on these findings, it is recommended that the Government should put more effort to define clearly what role the parents need to play in partnership with other stakeholders in the provision of education within the public primary schools in Kenya. The Human Capital theory was referred to as a basis for this study where education is viewed as a necessary investment for the benefit of society at large.