Influence of counselling on dropout among pupils in Public primary schools in Murang’a east Sub-county, Murang’a County, Kenya
Ngure, Marion W.
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Primary school dropout in Murang’a East Sub-county is an ongoing phenomenon. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influence of counselling on dropout among pupils in public primary schools in Murang’a East Sub-county, Murang’a County, Kenya. The objectives were: to establish the influence of peer counselling on dropout among pupils in public primary schools; to determine the extent to which group counselling influences dropout among pupils in public primary schools; to assess the influence of life skills counselling on dropout among pupils in public primary schools and to examine the influence of mentorship programmes and pupils’ dropout from school in public primary schools in Murang’a East Sub-county. The study was guided by the behavioral theory and Tinto’s retention theory. The study adopted mixed methodology and thus applied concurrent triangulation research design. Target population comprised of 60 head teachers and 120 teacher-counsellors all totaling to 180 from which a sample of 124 respondents was obtained using Yamane’s Formula. Stratified sampling was used to create four different strata based on the number of zones in Murang’a East Sub-county. From each zone, three head teachers and 28 teacher-counsellors were selected using purposive sampling considering schools which have had cases of high dropout rates. This procedure enabled the researcher to sample 12 head teachers and 112 teacher-counsellors. A questionnaire was used to collect quantitative data from teacher-counsellors whereas an interview guide was used to collect data from head teachers. Piloting was conducted amongst 13respondents from primary schools in Murang’a East Sub-county to ascertain validity and reliability of the research instruments. Validity was ascertained through expert judgment. Reliability was determined using test re-test technique and the reliability index, r = 0.7, was obtained using Cronbach Alpha Method which indicated reliability. Data analysis began by identifying common themes. Qualitative data were analyzed thematically along the objectives and presented in narrative forms. Quantitative data were analyzed descriptively using frequencies and percentages and inferentially using Pearson’s Product Moment Correlation Analysis with the help of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS-Version 23) and presented using tables. The study established that cases of dropout among pupils are very high in public primary schools. From the study findings, it is also evident that peer counselling, group counseling, life skills and mentorship activities are rarely adopted by teachers in public primary schools as a way of reducing cases of dropout among pupils. Thus, the teachers should partner with counsellors to train learners as peer counsellors which may enable them acquire basic skills to enable them help their colleagues with challenges of dropout. Teachers should learn to adopt group counselling since it can enable pupils to learn from each other’s experiences and share their personal challenges and how such challenges can be overcome. Teachers should ensure that life skills’ lessons are well utilized and content should be geared towards enabling pupils to develop good behavior patterns as a strategy for reducing cases of dropout from schools. The Ministry of Education should ensure that every primary school has a trained teacher-counselor and counselling units.