Participation of orphans in the free primary education in Kenya
Otsyeno, Benta G
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Education for the orphans arid other vulnerable children (OVCs) is faced by many challenges which limit the children to benefit from Free Primary Education. There has been a growing concern about the care of the large numbers of orphans and other vulnerable children (OVCs) resulting from the widespread HIV/AIDS pandemic and other untimely deaths and circumstances of parents. Governments and non-governmental organizations have designed different interventions to deal with the orphan crisis. Such interventions have been helpful in enabling the orphans to continue with life. This studyanalyzed the plight of the orphaned and vulnerable children in Matayos division in regard to the free primary education. This was an evaluative study in nature and it attempted to place value on the support provided by school. guardians and the community in which the OVCs reside. In so doing, the study sought to establish the orphans' real needs by understanding the local context within which they lived. It also sought to provide understanding about what could be the most suitable approach in addressing the needs of the orphans with an aim of improving existing policies and generating new ones for more appropriate interventions in the future. This study sought to understand the status of OVCs in regards to participation in the free primary education. The study had three specific objectives, namely: to determine the OVCs participation in terms of enrolment, attendance, dropout, achievements, and transition in view of the free primary education; to determine the priority needs for the orphaned and vulnerable children under the free primary education; and to evaluate the performance of orphans in schools compared to the other children. Structural functionalism theory was applied to enhance the study. Education for OVCs is viewed as a crucial component of the social system. This was an exploratory study that utilized the survey method of research. The study utilized qualitative methods to best understand the experiences of the orphans, guardians, community leaders and the teachers. One division (Matayos) was purposively selected out of the 5 divisions in the district then six schools were sampled from each of the three zones in the divisions. The target population in this study was .primary school children, teachers, guardians and community leaders. The total sample was 148 respondents. Three out of five zones were purposively selected due to the vastness of the division and also because most of the public primary schools are located in these three zones. The zones selected are Bukhayo Central, Bukhayo EastINorth, and Bukhayo Southl Busibwabo. Six schools from the three zones were purposively selected and one head teacher and two class teachers were purposively selected from each of the schools. Ninety children were purposively sampled (15 children in each school).