The impact of the bursary scheme on participation rates at the secondary school level in Migori district
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The study adopted a descriptive method using survey design. The purpose of the study was to investigate how the Bursary Scheme has impacted on Student Participation in Secondary Education in Migori District. The target population included secondary school students, Head teachers of Secondary Schools, Ministry of Education Officials, and Constituency Bursary Committee Members. Purposive sampling technique was used to select the District Education Officer as the district has only one District Education Officer to represent the entire population. Stratified sampling technique was used to select five categories of schools in form of boys, girls and mixed schools. From these categories, two boys' schools, two girls' schools and one mixed school were selected by simple random sampling. To get the required number of students (200), 40 from 5 schools, the researcher applied systematic sampling method. This number was selected out of the approximated 2000 needy students which represent 10% as proposed by Mugenda and Mugenda (1999). They quoting from Gay (1983) recommend 10% of cases in descriptive studies. Two bursary committee members were randomly selected depending on their ability to provide the information required. Six head teachers were selected by stratified sampling out of 44 head teachers of secondary schools. One questionnaire for students; three different sets of interview schedules: one for head teachers of secondary schools, one for education officials and one for constituency bursary officials; and an observation schedule for document analysis were used. Data was descriptively analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) and Microsoft Excel Data Tools. Frequency distributions, percentages, mean and modes were used to present the data while information that could not be quantified was subjected to content analysis. After data analysis, the following were the findings: (1.) There are some students who do not take up their places at secondary school as a result of financial difficulties (lack of school fees.); (2.) Some students have been dropping Out as a result of lack of fees; (3.) The amount of bursary advanced to students is not enough to clear their fee balances; and finally (4.) Approximately 21% of applicants are considered for bursary awards of varying amounts in Migori District. The study findings led to the following recommendations: (1.) There is a need for the Government to educate potential bursary applicants about the availability of the facility as well as the need to put in place clear guidance with r~gard to the amount of bursary to be allocated per student; (2.) There is need to increase Government allocation to bursary fund from the current KShs. 750 million to KShs. 2 billion; and (3.) the Ministry of Education should in consultation with other stakeholders in the secondary education workout ways to allow individual schools to evolve a fee waiver mechanism and income generating activities at school level to subdue poor students fees shortfalls.