Factors influencing academic performance of unaccompanied refugee boys’ in public primary schools Kamukunji constituency Nairobi County
J Cheboiwo, Catherine
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The refugee pupils in Nairobi, Kenya, face xenophobia and discriminative urban refugee policies, which preclude their admission into primary schools in the city. In turn, these pupils’ enrolment in private schools in Nairobi is hindered by their parents’ or guardians’ precarious socio status. The study aimed at investigating the factors influencing academic performance of unaccompanied refugee boys’ in public primary schools. This study employed descriptive survey. In this study, the target population consisted of 7 head teachers, 31 teachers and 112 unaccompanied pupils were the respondents of the study. From each school, there was one class teacher participating in the study. The class teachers were purposively selected because they are in close contact with pupils and they are better placed to give information on pupils’ academic performance and class management in the schools. The study employed Mugenda and Mugenda formula in coming up with a sample size of 150 respondents. It adopted the use of questionnaires in primary data collection. The study generated both qualitative and quantitative data where quantitative data was coded and entered into SPSS and analyzed using descriptive statistics where presentation was done using frequency tables and figures. The study findings indicated that the major education intervention used to teach unaccompanied refugee boys was training for communicating with, relating to and teaching pupils. Further, respondents argued to focus on individuality of each pupil to unaccompanied refugee boys. However, other education interventions such as creating opportunities for pupils, family and community involvement, activities and support services were not used. The study concluded that understanding of English by unaccompanied refugee boys was below average as reported by majority of both head teachers and teachers. Consequently, it was also concluded that teachers in Kamukunji were not able to provide personalized attention to the unaccompanied refugee boy as this was attributed to the large number of pupils teachers had to handle at a time. The study findings led to the conclusion that the major education intervention used to teach unaccompanied refugee boys was training for communicating with, relating to and teaching pupils. However, other education interventions such as creating opportunities for pupils, family and community involvement, activities and support services were not used. There is also need for adjustment of host nation policies to create a conducive environment for unaccompanied refugee pupils. This can be achieved by formulating specialized policies aimed at enhancing academic performance of unaccompanied refugee pupils. There is also need for improved involvement of families or guardians to unaccompanied refugee pupils together with schools’ management to discuss possible ways of enhancing the academic performance of unaccompanied refugees. There is also need for further research on other factors affective unaccompanied refugee pupils in other areas within Nairobi as this study was limited to Kamukunji. In addition, specific research can also be conducted on the measures that can be put in place to enhance the academic performance of unaccompanied refugees.