Institutional factors affecting pupils’ retention in public primary schools in Nakuru north district,Kenya.
Retention in school has positive consequences for individuals throughout their lives. In an economy where education largely determines pay and occupation, high school drop outs hold a disadvantaged position. The purpose of this study was to investigate the institutional factors affecting pupils’ retention in public primary schools in Nakuru North District, Kenya. The specific objectives were to establish the influence of teacher’s attitude, teaching and learning resources, physical resources and teacher pupil ratio on pupils’ retention in public primary schools in Nakuru North District, Kenya. The study was guided by expectant theory advocated by Vroom. The study targeted 41 public primary schools with a population of 877 teachers and 41 head teachers. This gave a target population of 918 respondents. The study sampled 87 teachers and 12 head teachers. The total sample size was 99 respondents. Simple random sampling procedure was used to select at least 10% of the total number of teachers. Questionnaires for teachers and interview schedules for head teachers were used for data collection. Reliability testing was done through test-retest method. Pearson’s product moment’s correlation was used to test reliability. Validity was ensured through discussion with the experts including supervisors and colleagues. Primary data was collected and analyzed using quantitative and qualitative analysis and presented in tables and graphs. Secondary data was obtained from journals and schools data base. Data collected was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Descriptive statistics and thematic statistics were used to analyze open ended responses. This assisted in determining the level of influence the independent variables had on the dependent variable. The study found out that teacher pupil ratio influences pupils retention. Lack of teachers in their school makes the learning process less fun and tiresome and this to some extent affects the retention. The schools have a teacher pupil ratio of 1:50 which is not the required ratio for a school. Inadequacy has made teachers performance not good hence some preferring to move to private schools. The poor ratio of teachers to pupils has contributed to some pupils moving to other schools. Some of the available teachers in the school aren’t adequately trained and this contributes to the transfer of some pupils to other schools. Availability of teachers affect the retention of pupils in the school to a great extent. The findings on the influence of teaching and learning resources on pupils retention indicated that school have a teaching/learning resources and pupils ratio of 1:4 which is inadequate for proper learning and affects negatively pupils’ retention. The ratio of learning materials to pupils is poor and influences retention of pupils in the school. Students leave school because they are not able to get the necessary learning resources in the school. It was found out that teachers’ attitude affect the management of school resources which in turn affects the retention of pupils. The MoE and TSC should employ more teachers to enhance the teacher pupils’ ratio in primary schools. There should be a research on other factors affecting pupils’ retention in primary schools since this study only focused on four institutional factors.