Factors influencing boys' dropout in rural public primary schools: a case of Kanduyi Division, Bungoma South District, Kenya
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Education is the finest way to attain self reliance and economic growth and development. Primary education prepares children to participate fully in the social, political and economic well being of the country. Universal access to primary education was one of the Millennium Development Goals (M.D.Gs) to be reached by 2015. However, in most developing countries high dropout rates in primary school is a major challenge to access and achievement of primary education. The study endeavoured to establish the factors influencing the dropout of boys in rural public primary schools in Kanduyi Division, Bungoma South District, Kenya. It sought to establish the extent to which a household's socio - economic status influences dropout of boys in rural public primary schools in Kanduyi Division. Secondly, the study assessed the influence of allure to income generating activities on the dropout of boys in rural public primary schools in Kanduyi Division. Finally, the study also evaluated the contribution of school related factors on the dropout of boys in rural public primary schools. The literature review revealed that the socio - economic status of the household had effect on the completion rate of basic primary education among the boys. Low income levels made the parents unable to meet the costs of schooling and contributed to frequent absenteeism and withdrawals which led to dropout. Low education level contributed to household's low value of education. It also indicated that income generating activities lured boys to dropout of school than pursue education which is of a lasting value in life. School related factors were evident to have effect on the dropout of boys in the division. It emerged that there were more repetition cases among the boys than the girls which led to overage resulting to decisions to dropout. As a result of a high teacher pupil ratio the quality of education was poor since rural schools were less attractive to the teachers. Despite the government intervention of providing Free Primary Education to achieve the EF A goals schools charged other levies which were a burden to the households leading to dropout. The study population comprised of the rural public primary school head teachers, class eight class teachers, class eight boys who were sampled through purposive sampling. An interview schedule was conducted on parents and a focus group discussion conducted on schools dropouts. The study used the descriptive survey research design which was fit for studying a large sample. The findings indicated that the dropout for boys was accelerated by low income levels among the households. More boys were dropping as a result of allure to income generating activities which were provided by the community, particularly the provision of motorcycles and bicycles (boda boda) which enhanced the urge to quick money generation. The extra charges charged by the schools were a burden to the households. This resulted to withdrawals and dropouts. Repetition particularly in upper classes was high among the boys. Due to over staying and overage the boys decided to dropout. There was uneven distribution of teachers in the division which contributed to poor academic performance that led to poor education quality. The study recommended the government to take poverty eradication measures to improve on economic status of the households and enable them cater for private costs of education, strictly enforce government policies on child labour and repetition, the education interventions put in place should enhance both female and male education, without embracing biases which have mostly advocated for the girl child education.