Community factors influencing pupils participation in public primary school education in Ololunga division, Narok county, Kenya
The purpose of the study was to investigate community factors influencing pupils‟ participation in public primary schools in Olulunga Division, Narok County, Kenya. The study sought to determine the extent to which communal ownership of property, community‟s perception towards education, community‟s socio-cultural factors influenced pupils‟ participation in primary education. It further sought to establish how the management strategies put in place enhanced pupils‟ participation in primary education. The study was based on the systems theory as advanced by Kurt Lewin (1890-1947). It adopted descriptive survey design and collected data using questionnaires for head teachers and class eight pupils and interview schedules of committee members. The target population of the study comprised of all the 64 public primary school head teachers and 360 class eight pupils. Stratified sampling was used to sample four schools in each of the three educational zones in Olulunga division, while purposive sampling was used to sample class eight pupils and committee member representatives. Collected data was analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively. The communitypractice communal ownership of property especially on land ownership and livestock that were grazed on these community owned fields. The communities had a negative perception towards education thus, most parents felt that schooling was a waste of time. Socio-cultural practices like early marriage, social rites and genital mutilation translate to children being out of school for non-school reasons. The management strategies like offering free instructional materials, parental involvement in school based programmes and introduction of school feeding programme would improve pupil participation. The study concluded that pupil‟s participation in education is hindered in the conflict torn communities that arise from differing interests on communally owned property. The socio-cultural practices and community‟s negative perception force pupils out of school when they reach puberty causing low enrolment, retention and performance contributing to low pupils‟ participation in education. Based on the findings, the researcher made the following recommendations; human and child right activists should join arms to fight cultural practices that undermine children‟s right especially right to education and school managements should set up boarding facilities to shelter pupils who flee from cruel cultural practices. Thus, suggested that; a study on alternative strategies on offering education to curb dropout due to overage.