Impact of income generating activities on students' retention rates in public secondary schools in Vihiga District, Kenya
Education is crucial for social economic development of any nation. The importance of education in nation development is best captured by Todaro (1989) who asserts that 'a country which is unable to develop the skills and knowledge of her people and utilize them effectively in national economy, will be unable to develop anything else'. The importance of secondary education in stimulation of social economic development of any nation have been documented in several studies and a number of government policy documents (Psacharopolous, 1985; Ayot and Briggs, 1992). The purpose of this study was to establish the impact of income generating activities on students retention rate in public secondary schools in Vihiga district. Four objectives guided the study; establishment of type of income generating activities, the amount earned from various income generating activities, how funds earned from income generating activities were being used to mitigate students' retention, how income generating activities were being managed and the challenges schools were experiencing in exploiting income generating activities as alternative source of education financing. The literature review exploited empirical findings on income generating activities in schools and what different authors have written on the same. The study employed descriptive survey research design. A population of 22 Principals, 22 bursars, 22 class teachers and 220 form four students were used in the study. Due to the small number of schools as target population, saturated sampling was used. Questionnaires, interview schedule and observation checklist were used as research instruments. Quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive statements while qualitative data was incooperated in interpretation of research findings based on field experience. The findings of the study indicate that income generating activities which could have eased the burden of educational financing was not fully exploited. It concluded that most principals lacked entrepreneurial and business skills to exploit income generating activities as an alternative source of education financing to promote students retention. The study recommends that since there is high potential for income generating activities to contribute towards school budget, they should be enhanced to mitigate retention in public schools in Vihiga district. The school principals should be equipped with entrepreneurial and business skills to make them effective in exploiting income generating activities and make significant contribution cost of education and promotion of students retention. The study further recommends that similar study should be carried out in other regions to find out if the findings can be generalized.