Influence of feeding programmes on the participation of learners at Early Childhood development education institutions: a case of Bungoma South District
The purpose of the study was to find out the influence of feeding programmes on participation of learners in ECDE institutions in Bungoma South District. The main objective of this study will be to fmd out the influence of feeding programmes on participation of learners in early childhood development, (ECDE) institutions in Bungoma South District. The specific objectives of the study were; to establish the extent to which school feeding program affect enrolment, attendance, retention and learning of learners in ECDE institutions of Bungoma South District. The findings of this study may be of use to the various ECDE centres for it would assist them understand better the 'issues related to school feeding programmes .. This would see school managers in the various centres provide learners with balanced feeding prograrmnes and create awareness to parents on its importance to proper learning and holistic development of their children. The study would also go along way to helping the government in making relevant policy to safeguard the wellbeing of ECDE learners by providing well balanced feeding programmes to these centres as well as budgetary allocation to the same. This study used descriptive survey research design to obtain information that will be used to describe the existing phenomena. The target population of this study was 206 ECDE centres in Bungoma South District, which summed up to 618 respondents. Stratified random sampling was applied in this case whereby 63. respondents were picked to fill the questionnaire. This research study used the test-retest method which involves administering the same scale or measure to the same group of respondents at two separate times. This is after a time lapse of one or more weeks. The instrument used in this study was a questionnaire as the only data collection tool. Descriptive statistics analysis was employed whereby the SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Sciences) programme is used. Tables was used to present data as was found appropriate. On enrolment, study concludes that feeding programme in the centre -enhance enrolment to a very great extent. The study further concludes that the ECD centres sampled by the study shows that the enrolment of between 21- 30 pupils and over 30 pupils per school and that enrolling of most schools is done early every year. On enrolment some pupils miss school because of the feeding programme not in place. The study concludes feeding programs enhance attendance levels in the centres to a very great extent that there were cases of children who miss school because of sickness, family affairs, lack of school uniform and food at home, poor performances which make them shy away, lack of parental support and guidance as well as poor characteristics developed by students. On improved learning, School feeding program increase pupils participation in class assignment duties and discussion, there are only a few meals provided during the day hence pupil do not fully participate in class work rendering to low performance, the healthy pupils in the centre are always active and perform well in the exam and a feeding programme is important than other factors towards the improved performance. On retention, the study concludes that there were transfer cases in the centre and that most parents take their children to .private schools citing many reasons which range from poor performance in public early childhood education centres, poor teaching methods, lack of skilled staff in public centres, and to a little extent due to poor feeding habits in the local ECD centres.