Factors influencing retention of pupils in public primary schools in drought prone areas in Turkana central district, Kenya
The purpose of this study was to determine the factors influencing retention of pupils in public primary schools in drought prone areas of Turkana Central Division in Turkana Central District, Kenya. The objectives of the study was to establish the influence of socio-economic factors on the pupils’ retention in school, determine the influence of culture on the retention of pupils in primary schools, find out how the geographical factors have influenced the retention of pupils in primary schools and to analyse the influence of insecurity on the pupils retention in primary schools in Turkana Central Division. To achieve this, the study used descriptive research design. The target population was 14,945 pupils and 255 teachers from all the 22 primary schools in the division. The sample consisted of 308 pupils and 66 teachers. The questionnaires were used to collect data from the respondents. Data was analysed both qualitatively and quantitatively. The study established that poverty in the region is a major impediment to the retention of pupils in schools. The study further established that cultural factors such as early marriages, cattle rustling among others have contributed to the poor retention of pupils in schools. The perception that girls are not meant to receive education has contributed to their low enrolment in the region. The study also established that students travelled long distances to school through harsh environment and on an empty stomach. This affected the retention of pupils in primary schools in the region. The long distances that the students travelled made them arrive for classes late which may have a negative impact on their learning. This negatively affects the retention of the pupils in school. Insecurity affected the retention of the pupils in school, however to a small extent as not many pupils and teachers were displaced as a result of the conflict. The key recommendation from the study is that the government should empower the parents by the introduction of the irrigation agriculture where the households will be self reliant in terms of food production and may reduce reliance on the donor based school feeding programme. The other recommendation is that through sensitization, the community should be educated practices that undermine education such as early marriages and cattle rustling. The study also recommends that the communities in Turkana Central Division should be educated on the importance of taking their children to school and why all children are equal despite their gender differences. Finally, study recommends that the government should construct more schools so that the children should access schools without traveling long distances.