School-Based factors influencing participation of Ophans and vulnerable children in Primary Schools in Kamukunji District, Nairobi County Kenya
The purpose of this study was to examine how school based factors influence the participation of OVCs in primary education in Kamukunji District, Nairobi County. The objectives of the study were to find out from the head teachers, teachers and pupilsthe influence of school levies, feeding programme, teacher training and stigmatization on the participation of OVCs in primary education.Descriptive survey design was used to conduct the study. The target population for this study was all the OVCs in the seventeen (17) public primary schools in Kamukunji District. Census method was used to sample all the 17 schools. A sample size of 17 head teachers in the selected schools was automatically selected. In order to obtain a sample for the teachers and the pupils the researcher used the Krejcie, R.V. & Morgan, (1970) table for determining sample size of 220 teachers. A sample size of 320 pupils was sampled using Probability Proportional to Size (PPS). Random sampling was finally applied to get the respondents among the teachers and the pupils. The research instruments used in data collection were questionnaires for the three clusters of respondents. The questionnaires were validated through appraisal from the supervisors and education administration experts from the department and then subjected to a pilot study. The instrument was tested for reliability through test-retest technique. The three sets of questionnaires had a correlation coefficient of 0.88 for the head teachers, 0.84 for the teachers and 0.78 for the pupils, hence they were reliable. Descriptive statistics was used to analyse data which was assembled, coded with the assistance of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) programmes which generated frequency tables, percentages and bar graphs. The finding of the study showed that majority of the head teachers and teachers had the opinion that the school had operational policies on OVCs. The pupils however, seemed unsure of the presence of the policy as only 35% stated that the policy was present in the school. Majority of the teachers and pupils asserted that the school usually charged school levies to the OVCs. Majority of the teachers stated that the lack of sensitization on the government policy on handling of OVCs was the main reason of the policy’s absence in the schools. The majority of the head teachers and teachers strongly agreed with the assertion that teacher training assisted the teachers in handling the OVCs. The results showed that majority of the head teachers and teachers strongly agreed with the statement that teacher training on OVCs related issues translated into higher retention of OVCs in the schools. The majority of the head teachers strongly agreed that the government sponsors teachers for OVCs related training. Majority of the teachers stated that they were undecided on the truthfulness of the assertion that the government sponsors them for OVCs related courses. All the head teachers and teachers strongly agreed that teacher training generally changes the attitude of the teachers in handling the OVCs. All the head teachers stated that the school feeding programme improves performance and enrolment of pupils in the school. They also said that the feeding programme leads to retention of pupils in the schools. The head teachers unanimously agreed that salaries for cooks were the major challenge facing the school feeding programme. Majority of the head teachers and teachers had the view that the NGOs were the major providers of sponsors of the school feeding programme. Other major player for sponsoring the programme was the church. All the head teachers, majority of the teachers and pupils strongly agreed that stigmatization of the OVCs affected their school performance. The head teachers were undecided on the statement that discrimination, isolation and stigmatization of OVCs are widespread in the schools. However, majority of the teachers agreed and the pupils strongly agreed thatdiscrimination, isolation and stigmatization of OVCs are widespread in schools. The recommendations of the study based on the findings were that the Ministry of Education should enhance formulation and implementation on the most appropriate, and effective policy to use in the identification of methodologies on the improvement of participation of OVCs in school. The Ministry of Education should also conduct seminars and workshops for sensitizing school head teachers, school management and the community at large about the possible reasons responsible for orphans’ dropping out of school. The school should pay more emphasis on creating conducive environment for the OVCs to feel accommodated and encouraged to participate in the teaching/ learning process.