Factors influencing effective implementation of free primary education in public primary schools in Kenya: the case of Kasarani Division
Free Primary Education (FPE) refers to an education that involves no financial burden to the parents of the pupils. This means that no fees or levies are charged and there should be no hidden costs to hinder any pupil from benefiting. This research sought to investigate factors influencing effective implementation of Free Primary Education in public primary schools in Kenya, the case of Kasarani Division. It also aimed at determining the extent to which each factor imparts on effective implementation of FPE. The study will be significant in that it may provide useful information in which decisions touching on effective implementation of FPE may be addressed by the Government and other stakeholders in the education sector. Target population was 25 public primary schools in Kasarani division. It was a census study covering the entire population hence no sampling was done. This study used a questionnaire to collect data from the headteachers of these public primary schools. The data was entered and analyzed using descriptive statistics analysis by computing frequencies, percentages and correlated using Spearman's Rank Correlation. The data findings indicated a high pupil-teacher ratio (69-60:1) in majority of the schools surveyed (50010). There was also a very high influence of pupil-teacher ratio on effective implementation ofFPE as indicated by the correlation of l.00. The survey indicated that majority of the schools (62.5%) had inadequate physical facilities whose influence was at 0.460. Teaching and learning resources and materials were adequate in majority of the schools (54.2%) whose influence was at 0.666. Training and capacity development had been given in majority of the schools (84%). However the survey indicated that in majority of the cases (83.3%), only 50-59% of the staff had gone through any training and capacity development since FPE began. The influence level was at 0.962. From the findings of the study it is concluded that the factors pupil: teacher ratio, physical facilities, teachingllearning resources/materials and training and capacity development influence effective implementation of FPE in Kasarani division. The levels of influence varied from moderate, high and very high. The influences were positive in all instances meaning that presence of these factors boost effective implementation of FPE. Basing on the findings of the study, the researcher recommends improvement of staffing in these schools as well as physical facilities that were found to be inadequate. Notably inadequate were sanitary facilities and absence of libraries in majority of the schools. There should also be more improvement in capacity building of teachers. Funds should also be allocated according to the needs of the schools and not per pupil as it is currently the case, to enable purchase of more instructional materials and improve the existing physical facilities.