Impact of mobile schools on transition of learners from non-formal education centers to primary education In Turkana County, Kenya
Ekonon, Lodion Jackson
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Mobile schools were started to act as feeder schools for the regular primary schools to mitigate acute problem of under-enrolment in primary schools in ASAL districts. Ten years after introduction of mobile schools GER for Turkana County is 35%. The problem of under enrolment still exists. The study was carried to find out the issues and challenges that hinder transition of pupils from mobile schools to regular primary schools in Turkana West district, Turkana County. The objectives of the study were to establish transition of rates of pupils, incentives offered to learners to encourage them to transit, perception of formal education by nomadic parents, effectiveness of mobile school teachers and set backs on transition of learners from mobile schools to primary school. The researcher used descriptive survey study design. It was used because of the economy of design, rapid data collection and ability to understand populations from part of it. The population targeted was pupils of mobile schools (180) in three mobile schools, mobile school teachers (24) in 12 schools, and head teachers of primary (41), parents (60) and education officers (2). The sample used was 38 pupils of mobile schools, 12 mobile school teachers, 10 head teachers of primary schools, 20 parents and one education officer. The researcher used two methods to collect data; questionnaires designed for mobile school teachers and head teachers of primary schools; semi-structured interviews designed for pupils of mobile schools, nomadic parents and area education officer. A part from mobile pupils who were randomly selected the other categories of sample were purposely selected. A total of 22 questionnaires were used and 59 interviews conducted. The data was analyzed manually. The findings were presented using descriptive statistics by use of frequencies, percentages in form of tables. The findings from the field indicate that transition of pupils from mobile schools to primary schools is very low, at 7%. This has been contributed by distance of regular primary schools, lack of incentives; mode of dressing in regular primary schools is different from what learners in mobile schools are used to and few teachers. Data from primary schools further show that most of the learners are aged and feel out of place when sharing facilities with small boys and girls when they join primary schools. The researcher is recommending that these learners be provided the full primary education in their nomadic set up. If this happens many of them will complete primary education. Then provide them with the necessary teaching and learning facilities, equip them with enough teachers who are properly trained; appoint officers specifically to handle this type of schools. These schools should use non-formal curriculum which is flexible and relatively cheap given expected financial constraints. It is also suggested that further research is routinely conducted to explore nomadic friendly programmes before the implementation of any of these recommendations.