Influence of educational and related levies on drop out rates in secondary schools education. A case study of Maara district, Kenya
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A great deal of resources has been allocated in the secondary education in order to alleviate the drop out problem associated with education costs. In the year 2008, the Kenyan Government introduced Free Tuition for all secondary students attending public schools with each student benefiting from KSh 10,265 per year. Enrolment in secondary schools rose by more than 300,000 students in year 2008 up from 1,040,000 students in 2007. The Government also provides bursaries to students from poor backgrounds. Despite these interventions, education costs still continue to pose a serious challenge especially to children from poor backgrounds. This study aimed at establishing the influence of education costs on drop out rates in secondary education. It adopted a descriptive research survey design. Principals from public secondary schools in Maara district formed the population of this study. A sample of 38 principals were sampled from the 46 secondary schools in the district were selected through stratified sampling in order to include national schools, provincial schools, district boarding scltools and district day schools. Influences of Education Costs on Drop out Rates Questionnaires (IECDRQ) were used to establish how education costs influenced drop out rates. A panel of experts from the University of Nairobi was consulted to establish the validity of the instrument. A pilot study was carried out in order to test the reliability of the instrument. It was found that they had reliability coefficient of 0.795. Descriptive statistics and content analysis were used to analyze the IECDRQ data. The findings of the study showed that education costs had little effect on drop out rates in both national schools and provincial schools. However the costs to a large extent influenced drop out rates in day secondary schools. The research attributed the high of children in day secondary schools to the number had attended the less costly public primary schools which performed poorly in national exams. They also came from poor backgrounds and they never benefited from ministry of education bursaries. They were therefore likely to. drop out compared to their counterparts in national and provincial schools whose fmancial backgrounds had enabled them attend better primary schools and also afford these categories of schools. The study further revealed that although drop out rate was evident in secondary education,education costs and related levies were no longer a major cause of students dropping out of school as they accounted for only 0.5 of stunts dropping out of school. It is recommended that the Government in collaboration with other funding agencies fully fund day secondary education in order to make secondary education affordable to the poor. The ministry of education should also liaise with the ministry of special programmes and the ministry of agriculture to promote income generating activities especially farming which was noted to have drastically reduced drop out rates by reducing the cost of food in secondary schools.