Factors Influencing High Drop Out Rates Among Pupils In Public Primary Schools In Bungoma North District,kenya
While enrolment is steadily rising in primary schools in Kenya, dropout rates continue to be high too, with over 50% of the children, both boys and girls dropping out before completing the primary school cycle. The purpose of this study therefore was to identify factors influencing high dropout rates among pupils in public primary schools in Bungoma North District. The study focussed on children who had dropped out of primary school at various classes. The objectives of the study were; to determine whether house hold- factors influences high dropout rates in primary schools; to establish whether student’s personal factors influences high dropout rates in public primary schools, to examine whether gender influences high dropout rates in public primary schools and to determine whether the conditions within the school influences the dropout process in primary schools. The study was conducted in public primary schools in Bungoma North District using descriptive survey design. The target population was 1459 members. The sample comprised of 21 public primary schools of which, 15 head teachers, 185 classroom teachers and 95 dropouts were sampled using the stratified and the snowball sampling methods. This constituted a total of 295 respondents involved in the study. A questionnaire and two interview guides were the main tools used in data collection. The instruments were refined during the pilot study. Data was coded manually and later analysed quantitatively and qualitatively using descriptive statistics mainly percentages and content analysis. The results were presented by use of frequency tables and bar graph. Conclusions were made based on the findings. The results revealed that both external and internal factors influence high dropout rates in study area. On gender differentials, it was revealed that more girls dropout in upper primary level while boys dropout more both at middle and lower primary. It was recommended that teachers, parents, community and government should work in harmony to curb the trend of dropout.