Analysis of Social-Cultural Factors that Affect Pupils Retention in Primary Schools in North Horr Sub-County, Marsabit County- Kenya
Munyalo, Malelu Sylvester
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Learners in pastoralist communities have been experiencing challenges in acquiring the basic education because of social cultural factors such as cultural rites, early marriages and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). The nomadic lifestyle makes it difficult for children to access formal education consistently. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of social cultural factors on learner retention in primary schools in North Horr Sub County, Marsabit County, Kenya. The study was guided by four objectives which investigated issues that included: causes of low retention, the social cultural factors that promoted low retention, the retention rates in schools and the mitigation strategies that were put in place to reduce low retention rates. It was conducted in primary schools in North Horr Sub County. Theoretical framework employed was Vincent Tinto’s model on learner departure which best explained the greatest influence on our understanding of learner’s retention. The study embraced descriptive survey design and focused in primary schools in North Horr Sub County. A sample size of five primary schools was selected where information was provided by head teachers and teachers. Data was collected through interviews and questionnaires so as to gather both qualitative and quantitative data. The validity and reliability of the research instruments was established before collecting data. For reliability this study obtained a correlation coefficient of 0.7. The study used SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Sciences) version 20 to analyze data where computation on frequencies and percentages was done. The study established that there was high rate of gender imbalance in primary schools in North Horr Sub County of Marsabit County. Pupils educational aspirations were being thwarted by social cultural factors such as female genital mutilation, nomadism, early marriages and community low perception of education. The study established that the retention rates in primary schools were low especially for girls across all the years. The study recommended strategies such as construction of more boarding schools, establishment of mobile schools, sensitizing parents on the need for education as an alternative to pastoralism life; offering guidance and counseling to the pupils especially when they undergo FGM and sponsoring the poor pupils for uniform would go a long way in retaining more learners in school.