Acceptability of free primary education in Kenya: an analysis of factors influencing its perception
Nyakiba, Phyllis N
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Education is recognized as a vehicle that is aimed at achieving national development goals. Education also plays a ro1,e)n human development through its contribution to improve on peoples well being and their participation in the country's development. The payment of levies that previously prevented children especially the vulnerable groups from accessing education is a thing of the past because children can now attend school without making payments. Therefore, the introduction of free primary education in Kenya in 2003 has seen the enrolment levels in public schools rise to high numbers. This paper found out the challenges faced by the school administration and parents since the introduction of free primary education in Kenya. The study also found out how education is perceived and if it is accepted by the community in Embakasi division since its inception. Though education continues to be important to the society, it is noted that some communities have not fully embraced it. Therefore the accessibility and quality of free primary education were investigated. The specific objectives were to find out the factors influencing the acceptability of free primary education in Embakasi Division. The levels of acceptability of free primary education by the school administration and the parents was also measured and later analyzed. The study was purely qualitative and relied on the primary and secondary sources of data that was collected. The sample was then selected using the multi stage sampling method. The primary data was generated from PTA parents and head teachers in public primary schools using questionnaires and interview guides. The data collected was finally analyzed and presented. The research concluded that there are various challenges faced since the introduction of free primary education namely: high pupil -teacher ratios, shortage of infrastructure, overcrowded classrooms, inadequate stationery and deterioration of discipline in primary schools. The attitude of the parents and school administration were analyzed and it is therefore noted that the parents have embraced free primary education.