School based factors influencing quality of free primary education in public primary schools in Navakholo District, Kenya
Introduction if free primary education (FPE) in 2003 was meant to ensure access, retention and completion of Primary Education in line with the Millennium Develop Goal (MDG) number two. Education is a vital tool in the developmental process of any given nation. One of the major issues in the 20th century has been the relentless struggle by international communities to persuade countries to observe human rights and provision of basic needs. The general objective of this study was to investigate the school based factors influencing quality of free primary education in public primary schools in Navakholo District, Kenya. The specific objectives were to establish the adequacy of physical facilities on the quality of Free Primary Education in Public Primary schools, to assess how enrollment affect the quality of FPE in Public Primary schools, to determine the influence of instructional material on the quality of Free primary Education in Public Primary Schools, to determine the effect of learning techniques on the quality of Free Primary Education in Public Primary Schools and to determine how teacher – pupil ratio affect the quality of FPE in Public Primary Schools. This study adopted a descriptive research design. The theoretical framework was based on Education Production function theory of historical materialism. The sample sizes of this study were 181 class teachers and 36 head teachers. This study utilized questionnaires for head teachers and class teachers to collect data. Reliability of the instrument was done by performing a Pearson‟s product correlation. The validity was done by conducting a pilot study on two schools that were not included in the actual study. Both qualitative and quantitative techniques were used to analyze data. The Statistical Packages for Social Scientists (SPSS) software package were utilized in analyzing the data. There were 210 filled questionnaires; 175 for class teachers and 35 for head teachers for the study. The data was presented in frequency tables and pie charts. The study was intended to benefit the policy makers in the Ministry of Education, other Ministries, academic scholars, researchers and pupils. The findings showed that physical facilities in the public primary schools in the district are not enough for the high pupils in the schools. There is very high pupils‟ enrollment in the schools that is affecting the quality of FPE in the public primary schools. The schools are not further developed with the increasing number of pupils in the schools. The schools do not have adequate instructional material that affects the quality of Free Primary Education in Public Primary schools. The inappropriate learning techniques employed in the primary schools definitely affects the quality of Free Primary Education. The teachers do not have the current learning techniques to offer to the pupils. The teacher – pupil ratio is very high since the number of pupils is always increasing while deployment of teachers to cater for the new pupils. The researcher recommends that teachers should be sensitized by the education stakeholders that include the DEO on the importance of instructional materials and learning techniques in primary schools. The Kenyan government should build more primary schools in the district to cater for the high pupils enrolment. This will improve the teacher-pupil ratio which is currently very high and as a result the quality of education will improve. There should be enforcement of laws by the Ministry of Education and other educational stakeholders to guide the head teachers on the planning of schools.