An evaluation of free primary education on the quality of learning in public primary schools: a case of selected public primary schools in Mombasa municipality
In the year 2003 the Kenyan Government implemented Free Primary Education in all the Public Primary Schools in the whole republic. This was in response to numerous concerns like the desire to combat ignorance, disease and poverty and also the belief that every Kenyan Child has the right to access basic welfare provision like basic education. The Free Primary Education Policy led to increased access which in turn has lead to a challenge of quality learning in schools. This study aimed at evaluating to what extent Free Primary Education has affected quality of learning in selected public primary schools in Mombasa Municipality. It sought to establish how the shortage of instructional materials, shortage of teachers, learning physical infrastructure, and government/donor relationship has affected academic performance, teaching learning process and participation of boys and girls. The data was collected from 10 sampled schools in Mombasa Municipality. The research design was survey and comprised of a series of formal interviews and face to face questionnaire to the head teachers and participant observations. Research finding revealed that witOh the introduction of FPE in 2003 the quality of learning in the selected public primary schools had been compromised. The results indicated that there was the shortage of instructional materials and resource, shortage of teachers and shortage of learning physical infrastructure. The results also indicated that the government/donor relationship was only moderate. It was evident from the study that availability of instructional materials and resources, teachers, learning physical infrastructure and government donor relationship had an effect on the teaching learning process, academic performance and participation of boys and girls in schools. The study therefore recommended that for the FPE program to be effective additional of teachers needed to be employed and the government to provide more funds for the building of more classrooms and acquiring more teaching learning support materials. Rigorous campaign was also necessary to sensitize the parents about their role in education of their children. For future study it is recommended that the methodology should be inclusive of more respondents like the pupils, teachers and parents as these were not part of this study.