Trends in and factors affecting form one enrolment in Mwea division, Kirinyaga district, Kenya
Njokah, Roselinda W
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National form one enrolment showed an increasing trend for both boys and girls in the period 1997 - 2003. Form one enrolment for boys during that period was consistently higher than that for girls. The study set out to establish form one enrolment trends in Mwea division, Kirinyaga district and to investigate the factors influencing form one enrolment in the division during the period 1994 - 2003.Highlights of the study were: Form one enrolment in Mwea division during the study period showed an increasing trend for both boys and girls,girls form one enrolment in the division was remarkably higher than that for boys. This trend is in contrast to the national trend where form one enrolment for boys was consistently higher than that for girls.Major factors found to influence form one enrolment were amount of school fees charged, poverty levels, availability of employment opportunities for school leavers, gender and type/category of secondary school.Other factors cited as influencing form one enrolment included child labour,early marriages, ignorance/illiteracy, diseases, drug and substance abuse, lack of role models, drought, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), HIV/AIDS,negative attitude by parents, family breakups and domestic quarrels. Recommendations of the study were that government should enforce laws which prohibit child labour,the government should establish a special bursary fund to assist children orphaned from HIV/AIDS infections,the day secondary schools be encouraged to give parents opportunity to provide guidance and counseling to their children with regards to drug and substance abuse,the government to consider settling the landless people of Mwea division in the South Ngariama Scheme,the proposal by government to offer free medical care in government medical institutions be hastened and implemented to curb effect of diseases on form one enrolment,the Mwea community be sensitized about the negative effects of HIV on form one enrolment,the community to be sensitized that the significance of education goes beyond availability of employment opportunities and includes overall enlightment,the provincial administration be used to ensure that as many children as possible make use of the free primary school education introduced by the NARC government, the institution to take care of children affected by or infected with HIV/ AIDS be established in the division and the Mwea parents be encouraged to support local schools through form one enrolment of their children in Mwea secondary school. Suggestions for further study included: . Investigations to establish why boys form one enrolment in Mwea division is lower than that for girls contrary to the national trend, investigations to ascertain if more girls than boys sit for KCPE thus enhancing girls form one enrolment compared to that for boys and investigations to establish why boys boarding secondary schools were not doing well in form one enrolment compared to form one enrolment in girls boarding secondary schools.