Factors influencing accessibility to public secondary schools in Kenya: the case of selected secondary schools in Nairobi county
Kobia, David S
MetadataShow full item record
Understanding that introduction of the tuition waiver program in public secondary school in 2008 opened gates for many students to enroll in secondary schools, there still exists several factors that constrain accessibility to secondary school education in Kenya. Such factors like school infrastructure, teacher student ratio and other costs relating to secondary education and their effect on accessibility is a major concern. This research report presents an assessment of factors affecting accessibility to public secondary schools in Kenya. To answer this question, the study collected data from sixteen public secondary schools in Nairobi County and carried out a casual comparison of data between two years before and after introduction of the tuition waiver program. The sixteen schools were sampled from eight Nairobi county divisions namely Central, Dagoretti, Embakasi, Kibera, Kasarani, Makandara, Westlands and Pumwani. Head teachers from the selected schools were the key informants in the study while teachers from the schools constituted focus group discussions. Chapter one presents the background to the study highlighting key aspects that underpin free secondary education in different countries in the world, Kenya included. In addition, the chapter presents the statement of the problem, its justification as well as the objectives of the study. Chapter two delves into literature review, looking at several studies that have been done in the past as far as the free schooling program is concerned with specific focus on access while Chapter three outlines the research methodology that was applied in the study. Chapter four deals with data organization,analysis, presentation and discusses the findings and in the end, Chapter five presents a summary of findings, conclusions, recommendations and implications for further studies. The study reveals that tuition waiver program had both positive and negative effect on access to public secondary school education. The positive effect is evidenced in the fact that the p,rogram managed to increase access to schooling for children from poor families reporting an average increase of 12.3% between 2006 and 2009. Elimination of tuition fees through government subsidized the cost burden of education of poor families thus many such families were able to send their children to school. On the other hand, it is noted that there were negative effects on accessibility emanating from the tuition waiver program. There was increased number of students who enrolled in school without proportionate investment in physical infrastructure and teacher employment. 18.75% of respondents sampled indicated that tuition waiver had caused some parents to withdraw their children from public schools due to congestion, increased teacher student ratio and declining quality. The study recommends that government should increase funding to free learning program, specifically to physical infrastructure, partner with private schools to increase access and quality and publish a gazette notice detailing the standard schools fees in public schools. The fees guideline by the ministry of education has left loopholes for school administrations to increase school fees.