A Study of the factors affecting implementation of free primary education in Makadara division in Nairobi province, Kenya
The Government of Kenya declared Free Primary Education in all public primary schools in January, 2003. This study set out to stablish the factors affecting implementation of Free Primary Education Programme in Makadara Division in Nairobi Province. Makadara Division of Nairobi was chosen because of the poor socio-economic backgrounds of the pupils especially those living in slums of the division. It was expected that there would be an initial surge in enrollments in the public primary schools due to Free Primary Education. The study therefore set out to explore the socio -economic factors that affect pupils' stay in school once enrolled under Free Primary Education programme. It also set out to establish the school-related factors affecting implementation of free Primary Education Literature was reviewed by considering the socio-economic, school-related and educational management-related factors that have affected implementation of Free Primary Education in the world, in Africa and in Kenya. Such factors included physical and human facilities, attraction to out of school employment and inspection of schoo Is.Head teachers and teachers of lower primary classes were chosen as the target population due to their direct experiences before and during implementation of Free Primary Education in their schools. The sample of the study comprised 19 head teachers from a target population of 26 and 196 teachers from a target population of 511 selected by simple random sampling. The education Office at Makadara also provided relevant management-related data. Through use of questionnaires for head teachers, teachers and the Divisional Education officer,the study elicited information on various factors affecting implementation of Free Primary Education in public primary schools of the Division. Some of the major findings of the study were that factors affecting the implementation of the Free Primary Education Programme included high pupil enrollments against a low teacher population There was also an absence of some crucial facilities such as pupils' desks and classrooms. Due to poor socio-economic backgrounds of the children, factors such as domestic responsibilities have led them to be attracted to out of school activities such as passenger service vehicle touting, street hawking and general truancy. This has led to cases of drop-out being reported. The study therefore recommends that teachers' numbers be increased and facilities such as desks and classrooms in schools revamped to meet the requirements of the increased pupil population. It also recommends that the Government should strongly enforce the poverty eradication strategy to ensure fewer pupils drop out of school. This will make the objectives of the FPE progamme more successful.