Socio-economic factors influencing pupils access to primary education in flood prone area of Budalangi District Busia Kenya
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The purpose of the study was to investigate socio-economic factors influencing pupils access in public primary schools in flood prone area of Budalangi district Busia County, Kenya. The study was guided by the following research objectives; parental level of income, family displacement, distance from home to school and the effect of child labour on pupils access to primary education. The study adopted Maslows Hierarchy of Needs Theory. The theory asserts that before considering the higher order psychological needs of children it is important to understand the basic needs and how to acquire these needs. The study adopted the descriptive survey research design whose purpose is to describe the state of affairs and involves a method of collecting data by interviewing or administering questionnaires to a sample of individuals. The target population consisted of all the public primary schools in Budalangi district. The whole head teacher (37) population was used for the study. Random sampling was used to sample 125 teachers and 270 pupils. Field survey method was adopted to collect data using questionnaires that were in three sets; head teachers', teachers' and class eight pupils' questionnaires. The questionnaires contained both open-ended and closed-ended questions. Instrument validity was determined through expert judgment from university supervisors while the reliability was determined using internal consistency. The three sets of questionnaire were considered reliable since they had a high coefficient value of 0.7. Parental level of income in Budalangi was realized to be below average since most of the families (41.7%) depend on farming as a source of livelihood. Floods that occur before harvesting wash away and destroy the crops rendering the families to depend on wellwishers' aid f-ora living. Maj-ority of the parents (78.3%) cannot afford their children's basic needs, thus, the children are forced out of school due to lack of learning resources and to earn a living for themselves. During floods families are displaced as they relocate to safer grounds. 57.1% of the .children are separated f-or more than one month from their families leading to absenteeism from school and poor performance of those who attend. When families are relocated to school facilities like classrooms, school programmes are .interrupted. Distance from home t-o school .in line with destroyed .infrastructure greatly hinder pupils inaccessibility to school. The destruction of the transport networks interfere with the livelihoods of the residents in the flood prone. Majority of the pupils 52.4% and the teachers 69% fail to attend school during floods. Going t-o schoolis a nightmare for the pupils who have to wade through flooded fields or board canoes that are dangerously rowed through the raging river in order to reach schools that are far from their homes. Most of the pupils (40.S%) indicated that they 1.ive4 over five kilometers from their schools. Majority of the pupils (61.9%) use boats to go to school during floods, while 73.8% walk during dry seasons to get to school. Finally, with the rise in the child labour since children are absent from school-due to Jack of basic needs. PUPHS(97.6%) indicated that they spend their time fishing during flood rather than schooling, and miss school for more than two days in a week to engage in flood related activities like fishing. Most of the pupils 52.4% revealed that they are responsible -of their siblings' upk-eep. The study came up with the following recommendation; the government should enforce the law on child labour to be strictly dealt with. Educational activists should organize forums to create community awareness on the importance of education to learners and its impact on the community as a whole. The Ministry of Education should facilitate live saving skills workshops to enlighten the school community on measures to take when faced by floods.