The impact of free primary education of internal efficiency in Londiani Division, Kipkelion District, Kenya
AbstractThis study investigated the impact of Free Primary Education (FPE) on internal efficiency of public primary schools in Londiani Division of Kipkelion District. It is a well-known fact that education plays an important role in national development by equipping people with skills that improve their productive capacities. Primary education is particularly known to have a high social benefit, which is why the government of Kenya has been committed to the attainment of its national objective of providing universal primary education to all school- age children. The government's commitment can clearly be seen through the introduction of FPE in 2003, which saw enrolments surging from about 6 million to about 7.6 million by 2006. Unfortunately, cases of dropout and absenteeism still affect schools in Londiani Division, as is the case in other parts of the country. The objectives of the study were to determine the rates of enrolment, dropout and the patterns of absenteeism and the factors responsible for the rates and patterns so identified. The researcher also established the immediate short to medium term outcomes on acquisition and utilization of teaching learning resources, including any constraints faced by the administration in running the schools. This study was anticipated to be of immense significance to the police makers in building corrective measures to ensure optimal provision of FPE. The study adopted descriptive survey design. Stratified random sampling was used to sample out nine (9) schools from a total of 41 schools. The researcher used two questionnaires which were issued to head teachers and class teachers of the selected schools. The reliability of the questionnaires was established by piloting the instruments in one school. This reliability was tested using the split-half method. The data collected were analysed using descriptive statistics with the help of SPSS. This involved computation of modes, and percentages. Data were presented descriptively using charts, frequency distribution tables and graphs. The findings of the study show that after the introduction of FPE enrolment in all schools went up in all classes. However, dropout cases started to rise after two or three years. Besides, there were many overage pupils who enrolled. The main factors which contributed to dropout and absenteeism included repeating classes, domestic chores, overage and underage, poverty, parental negligence, drugs and circumcision rites. Many schools had inadequate teaching staff, inadequate desks and toilets but the textbook-pupil sharing ratio was very good at an average of 1:2 in all the subjects except Social Studies. Besides, indiscipline of pupils and congestion in classrooms were also major constraints faced by teachers during the teaching-learning process. The researcher recommends that the government should look into other contributory factors to dropout and absenteeism other than fee payment. Also, schools and the Government should devise ways and resources to accommodate the overage pupils, sensitise the parents on the importance of educating their children and generate more funds from other sources to expand school facilities.