Impact of school feeding programme on pupils’ retention rates in public primary schools in Fafi Sub-County Garissa County Kenya
Wekesa, Kevina Nafula
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Impact of school feeding programme on pupils’ retention rates in public primary schools in Fafi Sub-County Garissa County Kenya.The government of Kenya introduced major reforms in the education sector to improve access and participation of children to basic education. The reforms include Free Primary Education (FPE), provision of bursaries through Ministry of Education and Constituency Development Funds (CDF). However these reforms could not benefit Fafi sub-county as many school age children stayed away from school due to continuous hunger. This prompted the government to launch school feeding programmes in 2008.Thus the purpose of this study was to determine the impact of school feeding programme on the pupils‟ retention rates in public primary schools in Fafi district, Garissa County. It particularly focuses on the rationale of school feeding programmes, adequacy of food given to pupils, sources of funds, forms of school feeding programmes, frequency and consistency of disbursement of food to public primary schools and community involvement in the school feeding programme influences pupils‟ retention rates in public primary schools. Issues that prompted this study were that the government of Kenya introduced major reforms in the education sector to improve access and participation of children to basic education. The aims have been to ensure high retention rates and completion rates in schools. This research was based on Abraham Maslow‟s theory of human motivation 1943. The investigation was conducted using the descriptive survey design. The target population consisted of 24 public primary schools with 121 teachers and a total of 5461 enrolled pupils. Simple random sampling design was used to select the sample size of 12 head teachers 90teachers and 60 pupils from the target respondents of 162 for this study. Purposive sampling was used to select 3schools that took part in the piloting study. Research instruments used were two questionnaires for head teachers and teachers and question guided interviews for pupils. Content validity was used whereby research tools were presented to an expert including my university supervisors. Reliability of the questionnaires was done through piloting and split-half. The study yielded data that required both qualitative and quantitative analysis. Quantitative results of data analysis were presented mainly in tables. From the findings of the study, it was established that retention requires availability of food in school on a regular basis. Data analysis also established that the In-school-feeding should be used as an incentive for children to attend school on a daily basis. From the findings, it was also established that community involvement has a positive impact on pupils‟ retention rates because it brings about harmony among the community, teachers and pupils, hence smooth learning in most public primary schools. The study recommends that public primary schools should be equipped with basic needs necessary for pupils‟ participation and achievement at school. Also, the Government of Kenya should collaborate with World Bank, World Health Organization and World Food Programme to ensure that basic needs are provided to learners. Besides, head teachers and teachers should be on the forefront to ensure that school feeding programme policy is implemented in school. Given the scope and limitations of this study, the researcher recommends a replica of the study to be performed in other public primary schools in other districts in hardship areas in Kenya.