The influence of sponsorship programs on pupils retention rates in primary Schools, Mutomo district Kitui county, Kenya
Kenya like other developing countries all over the world has experienced an emergence of many NODs both local and international in the recent past. All of whom implement various child sponsorship programs though not much has been documented and the question that arises is, what influence do the sponsorship programs have on pupil's retention rate in primary school? Does the amount of funding, scope, mode of sponsorship and guardians role in sponsorship decisions influence the pupil's retention rates? The objective of the study was to establish the influence of the sponsorship programs on pupil's retention rates in Mutomo District Kitui County. The study focused on the sponsored children in Mutomo district. The research design was descriptive and a survey method was employed using structured questionnaires that were completed by the head teachers of the primary schools where the pupils attend. Focused group discussions were held with the caregivers and sponsored children. The 50 caregivers and 50 children were selected randomly from 3000 sponsored children and parents in the district. Questionnaires were administered to the 15 headteachers and 10 deputy headteachers from the 25 of the 59 schools we have sponsored children. The data derived was analyzed using descriptive statistics and presented in form of tables and figures. The independent variables were: the amount of sponsorship funds, Mode of sponsorship, scope of sponsorship and guardian participation in sponsorship while the dependent variable was the Pupils school retention rate. The research noted that amount, of funds; guardian participation, mode and scope have influence on pupil's school retention while other factors which influence retention rates included availability of mentors, commitment of pupils to education, child performance in school and sanctioned repetition of pupils in class. The amount of sponsorship was seen to have great influence retention if the amount caters for child needs and family. Sponsor to child and to family had a higher influence on pupil's retention for they tend to cater for the pupils environment. The participation of guardian in decision making was rated highly in pupils school retention It was noted that when guardians participate in the child's education he/she is able to identify the key problematic areas as pertains to learning. It could thus be concluded that Empowerment of guardians/families to be self-reliant could be effective in ensuring holistic child development. The sponsoring organizations need to increase the amount of sponsorship to cover all areas of a child's need and environment in order to be effective. This would include ensuring that sponsorship covers school needs to family needs to be able to change the overall child's environment that hinder school retention hence sponsorship should centre on modes and scopes that yield more results to ensure that it is effective in ensuring retention.