Factors influencing transition rates from public primary schools to secondary school level in Murang'a East District, Kenya
The study sought to find out the factors affecting transition rates from public primary to secondary school in Murang'a East district. The objectives that guided the study were cost of education, economic activities of the parents, family background, socialcultural activities and school's physical facilities. The study had its target population as the headteachers in all primary schools in the district, learners in standard seven and parents from four primary school with children in standard seven and the District Education Officer. They were all four thousand nine hundred and ninety four in number. The stratified sampling method was used for sampling purposes. The sample size was thirty percent of the target population across the different strata and it was one thousand five hundred and eighteen respondents. The study employed the descriptive survey design. The data was collected by use of questionnaires, an interview schedule and focus group discussions and it was analyzed using descriptive statistics and thereafter presented by use of statistical means of tables pie charts and bar graphs. The study had the following findings. All the respondents perceived secondary school education as expensive and beyond the reach of many learners driven by the factor of having parents being unable to pay for it. The head teachers confirmed that they had occasion of parents lacking ability to pay for the children's secondary school education often at 84.21% and rarely at 15.79%. The response indicates that 21.05% of the headteachers were of the opinion that the parents and guardians had a very much interest in the learners performance, 42.1 % believed that the parents and guardians had a fair interest in the performance of the learners while 36.85% of the headteachers had the opinion that the parents and guardians did not have an interest at all on the performance of the learners. 73.68% of the headteachers affirmed to having role models from their institutions who can act as examples to the other learners very much while 26.32% attested to having it fairly. The study had the following recommendations Greater budgetary allocation should be made to the education sector and it should place a greater emphasis on the financing of secondary school education to cater not only for the tuition but other allied accompanying costs like boarding fees. This will greatly bring down the costs and help make the secondary school education more affordable and have a wider access to it by the many citizens missing out owing to the element of the costs involved. More focus should be placed on the rural economies in the quest to improve them. This can be by way of having industrialization programmes and activities meant to spur economic growth and bridge the inequalities between the rural and urban spheres. This will greatly impact on the levels of exposures the populace's disposable incomes and greatly impact on the capacity to pay for education programmes in secondary school and at higher levels. Parents should be sensitized on the need to have their children progressing and attaining high levels and standards of education. This should be done by way of involvement of community levels and opinion leaders from all spheres so as to shape the community's thinking and have a change of attitudes to attaching a higher value and premium to education. Communities should always seek to take change and intervene in situations threatening the livelihood and futures of young learners. Forums of awareness creation on the need to stem the tide of gender discrimination as a basis of deciding on the child to proceed to secondary school at the household levels should be created.