Contribution of free primary education to academic performance in primary school pupils, a case of Tigania West district, Kenya.
Kagendo, L William
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In Africa, a few countries like Malawi and Tanzania have implemented free primary education before Kenya. With mixed cases of success, problems and handicaps, some countries have challenged the policy on the grounds of quality, with Nigeria labeling universal primary education as the unfulfilled education promise. The study sought to assess the contribution of free primary education policy on pupil performance in public primary schools in Tigania West District. The Study adopted a descriptive research design. The study population consisted of all the head teachers, deputy head teachers and assistant teachers in 57 public primary schools in Tigania West District. The population consisted of 57 head teachers, 57 deputy head teacher and 270 assistant teachers. Hence, making the total population to be 384. The sample size included all 57 head teachers, all 57 deputy head teachers and a third of the total number of 270 assistant teachers. The total sample size was therefore, 204 subjects. The 90 assistant teachers were selected by use of proportionate random sampling. Data was collected by use of questionnaire. Secondary data was obtained from school documents such as school enrolment register, class performance results and KCPE results. Data was analyzed by use of descriptive statistics in form of frequencies and percentages. Chi-square was also used to test various hypotheses. Data was then presented in form of frequency tables, charts and bar graphs. The findings have shown that financial resources, teacher/ pupil ratio, teacher capacity and physical resources do not influence performance in Tigania West District public primary schools. Financial resources are inadequate; there is need to increase them, for pupil performance to improve. Teacher; pupil ratio is high leading to overcrowded classrooms. Most schools were understaffed and the teachers were overworked. Classes are overcrowded but most learning is taking place as a result of Constituency Development funds which have contributed to availability of more physical facilities. The researcher recommended to the Ministry of Education that it should make more funds available so that parents can be rescued from this burden. It was also recommended that research on KCPE performance trend analysis in Tigania West District needs to be done.