Causes of dropout among Boys and Girls from Secondary Schools in Ugenya District, Siaya County, Kenya
The problem of the study is to find out and compare the causes of dropout among boys and girls in secondary schools in Ugenya District, Siaya county, and recommend intervention measures and further studies to ameliorate the same. The phenomenon has severe negative consequences to both the individuals and the society in terms of economic, social, political and psychological dimensions and the problems are differentiable among the boys and girls. Siaya Districts has a high secondary school dropout rate of 11.6 compared to 9.5 for Nyanza province and 6.6 nationally. The high dropout rate may be as a result of socio-economic factors such as poverty, early marriages, and health status of parents as well as of children. The purpose of this study was to establish the causes of dropout among boys and girls from secondary schools in Ugenya Districts, Siaya County, Kenya and specifically to find out the factors that lead to dropout from secondary school, among boys and girls, determine the gender that is mostly affected by the dropout problem and determine possible ways of retaining learners in school until completion. A conceptual framework was used in the study to help focus on the causes of dropout among boys and girls from secondary schools in Siaya District. The study adopted descriptive survey design. The population of the study comprised of 1073 form four students, 25 Principals and 30 class teachers from 25 secondary schools in Ugenya District. Probability sampling technique was used to select 22 form four students, 10 Principals and 11 class teachers. The instruments of data collection were questionnaires. Piloted was done in five schools using test-re-test method. A correlation coefficient of 0.78 was obtained for questionnaire‟s reliability. Validity of the instruments was ascertained by the supervisor from the department of Educational foundations of the University of Nairobi. Quantitative data collected using closed-ended items in the questionnaires, were analyzed using descriptive statistics like frequencies and percentages. The findings were presented in form of tables and graphs. The study found out that pregnancy, early marriage, low academic achievement, poverty and indiscipline caused dropout among boys and girls in secondary schools in Siaya County. Additionally, more girls dropped out of school compared to the boys with dropout rates of .16 and .11 respectively. Close to three quarters of the of the principals and class teachers recommended and employed guidance and counseling as a measure for retaining learners in the school until completion. The study therefore recommended that schools should strengthen guidance and counseling departments in order to offer quality services that may lead to responsible behavior, abolish forced repetition for weak students and solicit funds from donors and well wishers for assisting the learners from poor families. Increase Constituency Development Fund, Local Authority Transfer Fund and government bursaries to take care of the increasing number of needy students in the district. Majority of the schools did not have income generating activities and there was need for such projects to be encouraged to reduce parent‟s burden on school levies. The findings of the study may be used by policy makers to curb dropout and improve the enrolment of students in Siaya District.