An investigation into the factors that influence students' absenteeism in secondary schools in Tetu district, Nyeri county Kenya.
Murigu, John Mugendi
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Poor and declining performance has been noted in many schools in Kenya. Absenteeism of students is a problem that keeps on being mentioned in the mass media and by education planners. The factors that influence absenteeism are not fully understood, hence the purpose of this study was to assess influencing factors which if not well understood and checked can erode the intended benefits of education. Factors mentioned in the mass media like poverty which lowers parents ability to pay fees, lack of motivation from parents, negative peer influence, punitive punishments in schools and shortage of learning facilities need to be scrutinized with a view of arresting an impending catastrophe in education. This study adopted a survey design. From a population of 8,825, a sample size of 414 was randomly selected. The study was guided by objectives namely, to assess the influence of student and family issues, student's social economic environment and school related issues on absenteeism in schools in Tetu District. Research instruments namely questionnaire targeting students, interview schedule targeting principals and teachers and office documents on absenteeism were used in the study. A pilot study was carried out to ascertain the validity and reliability of research instruments. The mass of raw data collected was systematically organized into numerical codes representing attributes of variables and descriptive statistics such as mean, standard deviation, use of bar graphs, tables were used to interpret the data. The study will be of immense use to managers of secondary school and educational officials in designing approaches in education. Parents in Tetu will also find the study useful in understanding the problem of absenteeism.