Academic journal article International Education Studies

An Analysis on Dropout Levels of Public Secondary Schools in Kericho District in Relation to Selected School Characteristics

Academic journal article International Education Studies

An Analysis on Dropout Levels of Public Secondary Schools in Kericho District in Relation to Selected School Characteristics

Article excerpt

Abstract

The Education Sector in Kenya and other parts of the world has faced many challenges particularly dropouts, which is an indicator of low internal efficiency during the past two decades. This study sought to determine and analyze the dropout levels of Public Secondary Schools in Kericho District of Kenya for the period between 2004 and 2007. The internal efficiency indicator that was examined in relation to school characteristics was dropout rates. Data was collected from Heads of schools and Guidance and Counseling Teachers in all the 64 public secondary schools in the district that were already doing KCSE examinations by 2004. The study employed Cross Sectional Research Design as a framework for data collection. Primary data on dropout levels was obtained from the respondents using structured questionnaire. Means, Percentages, Frequencies, Standard Deviations and T-tests were used to establish internal efficiency levels. Tests of significance were set at 5% significance level. Statistical analysis was done using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). The study revealed that dropout levels were higher in Day compared to Boarding schools, Mixed compared to Single Sex schools and Single Stream compared to more than one stream schools. The study also found that dropout rates increased with increasing levels of education. The findings of the study are expected to benefit the school managers especially the Board of Governors (BOG), the Parents Teachers Association (PTA) and Schools Principals, as well as the Ministry of Education in making decisions about school size, school regime and school type, with respect to internal efficiency indicators specifically dropout rates.

Keywords: dropout, school characteristics, school regime, school type and school size

1. Background to the Study

Internal efficiency indicators especially dropout rates in secondary schools is an emerging issue in Kenya and most countries of the world today. This is because a large amount of resources in terms of time, money and other supportive materials are often committed to the provision of secondary school education. Secondary school education in Kenya and most countries of the world usually start at fourteen years of age and runs for four years. Upon completion of secondary school, students can choose to go to college or pursue other vocational fields. Students who do well in secondary school are admitted to college, and others join teacher training institutions, technical training schools, or the job market. The competition for admission to colleges and Training Institutes is normally very high. The secondary school education programme is geared towards meeting the needs of both the students who terminate their education after secondary school and those who proceed to higher education (Republic of Kenya, 2003).

On student dropout, a study by Eisenmon (1997) reported that this phenomenon was prevalent in schools with ill-developed infrastructure and for the largest proportion of schools; it was the highest in form two classes where most students experienced multiple problems associated with adolescence and peer influence. A study by Lockheed & and Verpoor (1991) on school principalship indicated a situation where over 70% of the primary schools under study had principals as males. The study concluded that a large number of administrative positions were male dominated in most institutions due to gender insensitivity in appointment to such positions.

The public and private demand for formal education system in Kenya is the highest in the country both in terms of the resources devoted to it and the proportion of Kenyans involved (Republic of Kenya, 2003). Despite the high demand for formal education in Kenya, the transition rate from primary to secondary cycle is low. A survey which was conducted by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (2003) revealed a trend which indicated that less than 60% of the pupils leaving primary schools have access to secondary education and the trend in recent years shows a decline to less than 50% (MOEST, 2006). …

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