Determinants of school enrollment among public day secondary school students in Butula District, Kenya
Were, Andrew I
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The purpose of this study was to analyze the factors affecting the enrolment of students in public day secondary schools. Four objectives guided the study: establishing how child labour affects children's enrolment in day secondary schools; determining the extent to which gender inequalities influence children enrolment in public day secondary schools; and determining how school safety and hygiene standards influence enrolment, and establishing how tuition free secondary education has affected children's enrolment in public day secondary schools in Butula District. The literature review revealed that students who are orphaned ,inadequate funds to cater for tuition, infrastructure and school safety items, sanitary items, inadequate funds under the free secondary education and teaching / learning materials were the main factors affecting enrolment of student in Public day secondary schools. The study was guided by the human capital theory and a conceptual framework presented the relationship between educational resources, educational policies and enrolments in public day secondary schools. A descriptive survey design was used to guide this study. Students, class teachers and principals in the public day secondary schools in Butula District filled and returned questionnaires and the analysis was made using both quantitative and qualitative methods and presented in form of frequency tables. The findings of the study show that secondary education is still heavily in the hands of parents although the Ministry of Education pays tuition fees. Parents are responsible for the payment of development fund, uniform, caution money, and harambee fund. This situation has put pressure on the parents as most schools sent home students who could not afford to pay the required amount of fees. Measures adopted to improve the security and hygienic environment in schools include the acquisition of the relevant security and hygiene facilities like water, lighting, waste disposal facilities, school gate, school fence, lockable classrooms, first aid kits, frills on windows and security officers. Many secondary schools have invested heavily in the creation of a friendly learning environment. In the line with the gender policy in education many schools provide girls friendly latrines, boys' urinal pits and boys' latrines. The schools readmitted girls who dropout due to pregnancy after guidance counseling and medical checkup. The education system is strongly affected by students' participation in child labour. The main reasons for children participation include the need to meet basic needs, pay school fees and supplement income. Poverty is the main factor pushing the students out of school into the work. This study concluded that schools need to work closely with the government in enforcing the ban on child labour; diversely their sources of income in order to keep the poor and vulnerable students ion schools; provide a secure schools environment through the provision of facilities like the fire extinguishers and promote gender friendly learning environment through the provision of gender friendly learning facilities.