The Impact of cost sharing policy in education on the dropout rates of public secondary schools students in Nyandarua district central Kenya
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Since the introduction of education in Kenya during the colonial era, secondary school education has expanded despite pronounced set back to its access. Students who enroll in secondary schools drop out before the completion of secondary school cycle, a situation culminating to wastage of resources in time and space. This study endeavors to give a survey on the impact of cost sharing policy in education on the drop out rates of public secondary schools students in Nyandarua District within Central Province in Kenya. The study is guided by Research Questions touching on areas such as what cost sharing policy entails, the existence of dropouts in the district. Attributes related to influence of gender differences, position of a student in the family by birth order, economic background of the parents, fees structure in schools, strain on resources and formation of social classes by students have been assessed with respect to cost sharing policy. The targeted population consisted of students, teachers and headteachers from the public secondary schools in the district. Respondents consisted of 16 teachers and 163 students in form three forming the year 2001 cohort, chosen from the 6 divisions in the district and various categories of schools, all randomly sampled. Three questionnaires were used to gather important data. The questionnaires elicited responses from the headteachers class teachers and students. The selected design for the study is expost facto. The research study assumed that there existed drop outs in public secondary school in Nyandarua District as a result of cost sharing, and that the responses would be given in sincerity. After the data collection, an analysis was carried out using statistical measures such as frequencies, percentages, ranges and averages. The research study indicated a close relationship between the drop outs emanating from influence of cost sharing policy in education and the gender of the students, economic background of the parents, position of the student in the family by birth order, school fees structure, students social stratification and the strain on resources. Recommendations such as awarding grants, bursaries and scholarship to needy students, harmonisation of fees structure guide and provision of adequate facilities among others are given, as means of eradicating the drop out problem. Suggestions for further research are finally given, which include among others, the replication of such a study in another area or use of a larger sample and specific gender to assess the impact of cost sharing policy in education on the drop out rates of school students.