FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO DROPOUT AMONG PUPILS IN PUBLIC PRIMARY SCHOOLS IN TIGANIA EAST DIVISON, TIGANIA EAST DISTRICT, MERU COUNTY,KENYA
SUSAN NYOROKA THIAURU
Development in any country depends on the ability of the country to train its citizens at all levels of education. This is the reason why the Government of Kenya implemented the Free Primary Education policy in 2003 to enable all children attain basic education. Despite the provision of Free Primary education there is continued dropout among pupils in public primary schools. This study investigated the factors contributing to dropout among pupils in public primary schools in Tigania East Division. The study adopted descriptive research design .The population for study was 797 subjects which constituted 25 head teachers serving in public primary schools, 208 teachers, 538 standard eight pupils, 25 class eight school committee members and the Area Education Officer. The sample for the study was 258 respondents. Simple random sampling procedure was used to select 6 schools. A sample of 6 head teachers, 6 class eight class teachers, 6 class eight committee members, 240 class eight pupils and the Area Education Officer was sampled purposively. The study employed questionnaires and interview schedule as instruments for data collection. The validity of questionnaires was enhanced through pilot study in four primary schools in neighbouring division. Split half technique of measuring reliability of instruments was used to obtain a reliability coefficient of 0.74, 0.72, 0.7 and 0.72 for head teachers’, teachers’, parents’ and pupils’ questionnaires respectively. Data collected was coded and analyzed using descriptive statistics namely; frequency counts and percentages. The findings of the study were presented in tables. The study established that poverty, early marriage, effects of HIV/AIDS on pupils, irresponsible parents, child labour, insecurity, drug and substance abuse, unstable family backgrounds, indiscipline, chronic absenteeism and cultural practices as the causes of dropout among pupils in public primary schools. The intervention measures suggested to curb the drop out include sensitizing the community on the importance of education, strengthening guidance and counseling departments in schools, improving security, strict discipline and remedial teaching for the weak pupils. It is hoped that the findings and recommendations of this study will enable policy makers, head teachers, parents and other stake holders understand the causes of drop outs and therefore improve retention and completion rate in primary schools to realize Education For All by the year 2015.