Institutional Factors Influencing Implementation Of Free Day Secondary Education In Mwingi West District, Kitui County, Kenya
The study was to investigate institutional factors influencing implementation of free day secondary education in public secondary schools in Mwingi West district, Kitui County. It was to answer the following research questions; school enrolment, school type, availability resources and head teachers’ exposure to management training on financial management and their influence on the implementation of free day secondary education. The study adopted the system theory by Ludwing Von Bentaranffy of 1967. The study adopted the descriptive survey design and targeted 31 public day secondary schools. The students were selected by using simple random sampling while stratified random sampling was used to sample the teachers and census sampling was used to sample the whole population of day secondary schools therefore all the head teachers were included. The sample comprised of 31 head teachers, 39 teachers and 310 form three and four students. Data was collected using questionnaires for head teachers, teachers and students. Collected data was analyzed and tabulated in frequencies and percentages. Data was presented on tables, pie charts and bar graphs. The demography of the respondents including gender, age, professional qualification, teaching experience, managerial position and attendance of financial management in-service courses was collected. The school enrolment / school size influence implementation of Free day secondary education. Students’ enrolment in Mwingi West district highly ranges between 150 to 200 students per school. The enrolment rate per class in schools is at an average 61 students per class in day and boarding schools while 25 in pure day school. The implementation of Free Secondary Education programme is seen to realize its objectives in day/ boarding schools where facilities and resources are available by the increased enrolment that lead to retention, completion and equity. Most of the head teachers had three years experience in management positions, these findings showed a concern of the management position of school funds thus seminars and workshops need to be organized to create awareness on financial management. The head teachers had attended in-service courses on management that are trained by Kenya Educational Management Institute on institutional financial management, the other percentage was trained by District Quality Standards Assurance Officers through the Ministry of Education auditors. The government’s provision of funds to buy resources have been inadequate to cater for effective teaching/learning resources. Schools have been faced with challenges in providing free secondary education due to scarcity of resources and inadequate facilities. Head teachers are schools’ financial managers thus they need high exposure to educational institution financial management. They should attend more in-service courses, seminars and workshop on financial management. The study findings came up with recommendations that the government should allocate enough funds in time and resources to schools to ensure that free secondary school education runs smoothly without compromising quality of education. The study established that lack of adequate funds and resources was the biggest challenge affecting effective implementation of free secondary education in public secondary schools. Therefore, suggested for further research on the strategies being employed by school administrators to cope with the challenges faced in implementation of free secondary education.