Contribution of bursary funds in addressing wastage in public secondary schools in Nandi North District, Kenya
Lagat, Fremina J
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The purpose of the study was to establish the contribution of the bursary funds in addressing wastage in Public Secondary Schools in Nandi North District in Kenya. The study aimed at establishing the criteria used to award bursaries to needy students and its effects on retention establish the adequacy of the bursary funds distributed, the timing of the release of funds and its influence on drop-out and ways of strengthening the communication on Secondary Education bursary funds. The study reviewed related literature on the bursary scheme and was based on Human Capital Theory advocated by Schuitz (1960). The study adopted a descriptive survey design and targeted 19 head teachers and 3129 Public Secondary School students and 15 Constituency Bursary Committee members in Nandi North District. Purposive sampling was used to get 900 students who had applied for bursary from the 18 Public Secondary Schools and 2 Constituency Bursary Committee Officials. The study administered a set of questionnaires to principals and to students and used interview schedule for the Constituency Bursary Committee officials. Document analysis was conducted on records of students who had applied for bursaries and those who benefited for the period 2006-2010. Validity of the instrument was enhanced through piloting and review by experts while reliability was ensured using the test re-tests method. The reliability was 0.815 and 0.84 for the principals and students respectively. The data collected from the field was coded and entered into computer for analysis using the statistical package for sociosciences (SPSS). Descriptive statistic analysis was done; including frequencies, means and percentages. The results of data analysis were presented in frequency tables, histograms and pie charts. The study established that the major factors considered in allocating bursaries were special needs, orphans, discipline and academic performance. The study also established that the students get information about constituency bursary funds mostly from principals, teachers and public gatherings. The amount of bursary funds awarded to needy students was at most times inadequate and disbursement of funds was untimely. Constituency bursary Committee Officials indicated that the total amount of bursary is sub-divided equally between the constituencies in the district. Each Constituency has a committee identifying needy students and then determine the amount that each applicant should be given. The study concludes that the bursary scheme is affected by the inadequacy of funds disbursed to constituencies, inadequate communication to stakeholders, ineffective identification of needy students and untimely disbursement of funds to the constituency committee and to students in schools. Based on these findings, the study recommended that there should be adequate sensitization on the existence of the bursary funds. Fairness and timely allocation of funds to genuinely needy students and all bursaries available to Secondary Schools should be harmonized to avoid duplication of resources and the bursary scheme to meet its objectives.