Institutional challanges in implementation of free tuition Secondary Education in Rachuonyo North District, Kenya
Nyong'o, John O
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This study set out to assess the influence of free tuition secondary education on participation rates and identify the challenges faced in implementing the program in Rachuonyo North district. The study was based on the conceptual framework of factors such as allocation of resources, physical facilities and provision of subsidy, teaching and learning materials, number and qualification of teachers and student enrolment by gender and how they interact to ensure success in gaining access, equity, quality and transition in secondary schooling. The objectives of the study were; to assess the adequacy of teaching and learning resources on the quality of learning in Rachuonyo North district; To determine the extent to which FSE program influences student enrolment in secondary schools; To establish the extent to which FSE program influences gender parity; To examine the effects of government subsidy on grade to grade transition in secondary schools and; To identify the extent to which FSE influences student retention in Rachuonyo North district. The study used descriptive survey research design and data was gathered using two questionnaires, interviews, document analysis and focused group discussions. The sample consisted of 38 head teachers, two education officers, 76 class teachers and 120 students interviewed in groups of30. A total of38 head teachers and 70 class teachers returned filled questionnaires. Data was then analyzed using frequencies and percentages. The study found out that; Teaching and learning resources in Rachuonyo North district were inadequate for quality learning; Secondly, the findings revealed that free tuition secondary education had enhanced student enrolment rates by an estimated 100/0 in Rachuonyo North district. Girls' enrolment had improved though boys still dominated the number in secondary schools. This showed that gender parity had not been achieved in the district. From the findings it also emerged that Schools in the district had Head teachers and Class teachers who were academically and professionally qualified. However, on overall staff numbers were inadequate and male teachers formed 84.45% which was significantly larger than female teachers. The study established that there was a great shortage of teaching staff and that teaching and learning facilities were generally inadequate. Funding challenges were also faced in terms of adequacy and timing. On grade to grade transition, the study revealed an improvement with free tuition secondary education. Lastly, it was realized from the research findings that though dropout rates had reduced, there were persistent cases mostly from non fee related issues such as teenage pregnancies and pursuit of income. The study recommends affirmative action by all stakeholders in education to enhance gender parity. The government should increase funding, promptly disburse it and expand its coverage. Teachers' Service Commission also needs to address staff shortage and gender balance in Rachuonyo district.