Institutional factors influencing participation of orphans and vulnerable children in primary education in Dagoretti district, Nairobi county, Kenya
The purpose of this study was to investigate the institutional factors influencing participation in primary education by OVCs in Dagoretti district, Kenya. The objectives of the study were to establish the effect of the availability of psychological support, identify strategies employed by primary school headteachers in enhancing participation in primary education and determining the extent to which school levies affect participation in primary education in Dagoretti District. In addition, the study determined the influence of teachers training on transition to primary schools, extent to which primary school headteachers support learners from needy backgrounds as well as the extent to which supportive school leadership and teachers influence OVCs’ participation in primary education in Dagoretti District. This study relied on the Maslow’s theory of human needs and motivation. The theory was applicable since institutional factors influencing participation in primary education by orphans and vulnerable children are largely determined by level of school management. At the same time, the transition theory portrays the management of school as responsible for innovation and creation of conducive environment that is necessary for transition to primary schools to be effective. The study used descriptive survey design and the target population comprised of the headtechers in all 25 public primary schools in Dargoretti District and 92 teachers were selected. This study used questionnaires to collect data where each set of questionnaires had two sections. Section one presented demographic information while section two explored general information on transition. The researcher then conducted a pilot study before the administration of research instrument which enabled the researcher to refine the instrument by making corrections based on the observation made, add new items, delete some items and access the time taken by the respondent to fill the questionnaire. To establish the reliability of the instrument, the researcher used the test-retest techniques. This involved administering the test to an appropriate group. The Pearsons’ Correlation Coefficient for this study was found to be averaging at 0.87 for all sets of questionnaires and thus the tools were reliable. After some time had passed, the same test was administered to the same group. It was done by administering the instruments to the total respondents in the pilot study. An authorization to conduct the research was sought from the National Council of Science and Technology as well as the consent of the District Commissioner Dagoretti District to conduct research in Dagoretti District. The study generated both qualitative and quantitative data. For the quantitative data, analysis of the data was done through descriptive statistics by use of frequencies and percentages and averages while qualitative data was first organized into themes corresponding to the study objectives. From the study the researcher concludes that, participation in primary education education by orphans and vulnerable children is largely determined by both the availability of learning institution, amount of school levies charged, involvement in teachers training and intervention of school administration. These constitute both the micro (household) and macro (country’s) economic challenges. This is mainly because accessibility is improved and at the same time costs related to transportation are reduced as a school is available closer to the household. Therefore and based on the findings of this study, the researcher gives the following recommendations aimed at improving pupils’ participation in primary education in Dargoretti district as well as countrywide at large. Since the Kenyan education system insists on a free and compulsory primary education as we as a free secondary education, the government should instigate effective machineries to ensure that adequate secondary institutions are available for all pupils. There should be well enhanced and effective curriculum programmes that enhance smooth learning for children with difficulties. The curriculum should also be integrated with life skill programmes that are part of early child developments. The government through the Ministry of Education should ensure quality assurance to enhance supervision in OVC’s needs and catered for in schools. In addition, it should provide policies and implantation guidelines for OVC interventions to all regional and local government departments. MOE should also ensure that the provisions for free primary education are enforced supervised and monitored.