Influence Of School Feeding Program On Pupils’ Retention In Public Primary Schools In Dagoretti South Sub-County, Nairobi County, Kenya.
Primary schools are considered to be providers of basic foundation to education for they provide skills in reading writing and communication which are fundamentals to communication. However, retention and completion rates in Kenya are low and this contributes to high illiteracy levels in the country. However, school feeding programs have been implemented in Kenya to incentivize the enrollment and retention in primary school. The major problem that plagues most school going children in primary schools especially in low income areas is poverty. So when food is a challenge in any house hold in the low income areas, going to school is not a priority for the children or the parent. This causes absenteeism or complete drop out of the child from school. Providing food in schools boosts access, encourages regular attendance and enhances general learning and performance. The studies have however been carried out in diverse areas and the results differ from place to place. This study therefore sought to establish the effect of school feeding programs on primary school retention in Dagoretti district. The study adopted a descriptive research design since it sought describe the state of affairs as was then. The target population was the 10 the head teachers of the public primary schools and 80 teachers in Dagoreti sub- county of the 10 school that received the School Feeding Program services. This study used census, where the entire population participated in the study. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and represented using figures and tables. The study concludes that; alleviation of short-term hunger in malnourished or well-nourished school as a school feeding program initiative highly influences pupils' retention in public primary schools; parent’s motivation to enroll in school and have them regularly attend highly influences pupils' retention in public primary schools; increased community involvement in schools ‘activities as a school feeding program initiative highly influences pupils' retention in public primary schools and sustainable feeding as an initiative of school feeding program highly influence the pupils’ retention in public primary schools. The study reveals that there exists a high and positive significant relationship between each of; alleviation of short-term hunger; parents’ motivation; community involvement; and sustainable feeding programs and pupils' retention in public primary schools, since the p-value for each was less than 0.05 and relationship was greater than 0.5. The study recommends that; the ministry of education should review the SFP to ensuring continuous and adequate supply of food in the school in poverty ridden areas, the ministry of education in collaboration with other stakeholders should create awareness campaigns to capture parents into the school feeding program, the community from poverty stricken areas should form combined effort to fully participate in the school feeding program and; ministry of education as well as the county governments should legal structures, in poverty ridden areas, to spearhead sustainable feeding program.
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