Influence of free primary education on academic achievement in public primary schools in Kisii South District, Kenya
Onyango, Mildred A.
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The Free Primary Education (FPE) policy aimed to improve participation. progression and completion rates, reduce the burden of cost of education on poor households in line with the Education for All (EFA) goal. Since the implementation of Free Primary Educationin 2003. K.sh 47.5 billion has been disbursed to 18.346 primary schools by 2010 (MOEST, 2010). This has seen a tremendous increase in enrolment by 60% from 5 million in January 2003 to 8 million by May 2009. incorporating an additional 3 million Kenyans into the school system (World Bank Report. 20(9). Primary school completion rates have increased from 62.8% in 2002 to 81.0% in 2009. Consequently. more children of school-going age have accessed education in the country's public primary schools Despite these achievements, most primary school infrastructure remains unexpanded and classrooms are overcrowded, instructional materials are still inadequate. pupil-teacher ratio has increased and therefore likely to negatively affect academic achievement and the quality of education being offered (Rob et al. 2004: Sifuna. 2005: Yicke. 20()(): Kenya. 2008). Therefore. the objective of this study was to assess the influence or Free Primary Education on academic achievement in public primary schools in Kisii South District. The study was conducted through a cross- section survey design. The target population of the study comprised all the teaching stakeholders in 51 public primary schools in Kisii South District which encompasses 51 head teachers 538 teachers and 2.237 class 8 pupils. totaling to 2,826. Stratified. proportionate and simple random sampling technique was used to obtain a sample of 283 respondents. A structured questionnaire was pretested for validity and reliability which was then administered to the respondents to collect primary quantitative data. The data was analyzed using descriptive statistics such as mean. percentages and frequency. Data was presented using tables and graphs. The study findings indicated that the implementation of FPE had negatively influenced academic achievement in public primary schools. To enhance academic achievement. the study recommended proper planning and inclusion of all stakeholders in the implementation of education projects. a review of the government funding policy. recruitment of more teachers and staff balancing as well as regular in-service of teachers.