Academic journal article Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies

Influence of Free Primary Education Policy on Pupil Survival Rates by Gender in Public Primary Schools in Rongo Sub-County, Kenya

Academic journal article Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies

Influence of Free Primary Education Policy on Pupil Survival Rates by Gender in Public Primary Schools in Rongo Sub-County, Kenya

Article excerpt

Abstract

Free Primary Education (FPE) Policy introduction in 2003 narrowed gender gap nationally; public primary school survival rate in 2005 was 90.4% (90.4% boys; 90.3% girls). However, Rongo in the same year posted survival rate of 99.1% (102.4% boys; 95.8% girls). This study was occasioned by the fact that despite FPE being in place there was still huge disparity in survival rate in Rongo Sub-county. The purpose of the study was to determine the influence on FPE policy on survival rates by gender in public primary schools in Rongo Subcounty. Ex-post-facto and descriptive survey designs were used in the study The target population comprised of 42 schools, 1 Sub County Quality Assurance and Standards Officer (SQASO), 966 and 624 Class 7 and 8 pupils respectively. Data was collected using questionnaires, interview schedules, focus group discussion and document analysis guide. The findings revealed that, FPE policy had a positive influence on survival rate on both gender. The study concluded that FPE Policy attracted girls who had dropped out of school hence overcrowding in classes in public primary schools lowering girls survival rate compared to boys in public primary schools, it was discovered these girls did not dropout as they constituted a higher proportion than boys in private primary schools hence explaining the huge disparity in survival in public primary schools. Study recommended provision of enough teaching and learning materials in public primary schools to eliminate congestion and overcrowding which led to transfers to private primary schools. Findings are significant to, educational planners, donor agencies, parents and community in making decision in improving FPE Policy to enhance gender parity in Public Primary schools in Kenya.

Keywords: survival, free primary education, policy, gender, disparity, rongo sub-county

(ProQuest: ... denotes formulae omitted.)

INTRODUCTION

Studies have found a positive relation between education or human capital and economic growth (Stevens &Weale, 2004). Empirical literatures have also quantified private and social rates of return for different levels of education in many countries (Psacharopoulos, Patrinos & McMahon, 2004).These studies highlight the point that the social rate of return from primary education is higher than that from secondary and tertiary levels of education. The public and merit good aspects of education, especially in primary education, call for government intervention. The launching of Free Primary Education (FPE) Programme in January 2003 was a land mark policy decision by a new government of Kenya. Seen by donors as a key step towards school fee abolition, it opened the door to new level of donor support, and it has subsequently taken the bulk of Government and donor development funding for education. The World Bank gave a grant of Ksh 3.7 billion in June 2003, while British government through DFID had earlier given a grant of Ksh 1.6 billion to boost the Programme (Aduda, 2003). Free Primary Education (FPE) Policy introduction in 2003 narrowed gender gap nationally; public primary school survival rate in 2005 was 90.4% (90.4% boys; 90.3% girls). However, Rongo in the same year posted survival rate of 99.1% (102.4% boys; 95.8% girls). It is with this concern of the social rates of returns in primary education and heavy public investment behind the motivation of this study on the influence of FPE Policy on pupil's survival rate by gender at public primary school in Rongo Subcounty, Kenya. Thus the study sought to establish the Influence of Free Primary Education Policy on pupil's survival rate by gender in public primary schools in Rongo Sub-county in Kenya.

As depicted in Table 1.1 it is clear that Rongo Subcounty is faced with problem of attaining gender equity. Following the 2011 KCPE result, it is notable that gender target in schools is almost met nationally, of the 776,214 candidates 51.6% were boys and 48. …

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