Influence of non-governmental organizations role on vulnerable children’s access to basic education in nyahururu district, Laikipia County-Kenya
Lack of full capacity and budgetary constraints in general have opened up the education sector for NGO involvement. While there have been many studies on the role and impact of NGOs both in Kenya and in post-conflict zones, there has been limited research and data on the role of NGO assistance to the development of the education system, generally in Kenya and Nyahururu in particular. This study therefore sought to examine the contribution NGOs in Nyahururu have made in enhancing access to education by the vulnerable children. It aimed at establishing the extent to which NGOs financial support to schools affects vulnerable children’s access to basic education in Nyahururu District, to determine how the NGOs intervention in the provision of basic necessities to individual vulnerable children affected their access to basic education, to examine the influence of NGOs capacity building of parents on access to basic education by vulnerable children, and to establish the extent to which infrastructure development in schools by NGOs enhanced access of vulnerable children to basic education. The study utilized a sample size of 40 students; 20 school principals and 10 CEOs/project managers working in the NGOs that support education programmes in the Nyahururu district. Stratified sampling process was used while subjects were arrived at purposively. Questionnaires and key informant interviews were used for data collection. The data was then coded and entered into the computer and analyzed with the aid of the computer programme, the Statistical Package for Social Scientists (SPSS). The results indicated that all the contributions done by NGOs towards enhancing accessibility of education among vulnerable children were significant. The contributions towards infrastructure development scored most at above 60% followed by financial support at 50%. Providing basic necessities to individuals was third at 36.6% score while last was capacity building to parents that scored 16.7%. This means NGOs support in the form of infrastructure development will likely have more impact than the others. Constructing facilities would provide students with better learning environment and the necessary equipment needed to pursue studies. More should also be channelled to financial support. This could be in form of fees payable to institutions, or even pocket money. Providing basic needs follow in order of priority then training comes last. It will also be beneficial to all students (not only the vulnerable students). The results showed that NGOs remain relevant in provision of basic education. On significance of this study, the findings of the study should inform the school administrators on the relevance of these entities in education with respect to easing the burden of having to grapple with limited resources. Implementing the recommendations would enable them to take appropriate action that may foster non-state actors’ engagement in the education sector to enhance access to basic education for all vulnerable children. Further research is suggested for other geographical areas apart from Nyahururu. This is because the scope of this study was limited to Nyahururu district. This to some extent limited the extent to which the outcome could be used to interpret situations in the country. Further studies are suggested for wider Laikipia County and for other areas in which NGOs do support basic Education for vulnerable children.