Social Economic Factors Influencing Learners’ Absenteeism in Primary Schools of Oldonyiro Division, Isiolo County
Lematango, Samson M.
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Education is considered as a prime driver of the financial improvement of countries and societies to the extent of 20% of the Domestic Gross Product. This is particularly so, when the learners consistently attend classes, as well as, families give them the necessary push. However, learners’ absenteeism adversely influences their scholarly accomplishments. This has been observed to be so in Isiolo County. The purpose of this study was to examine the social economic factors influencing learners’ absenteeism in primary schools of Oldonyiro Division, Isiolo County. Specifically, the study determined effects of students, parental, school and community factors on learners’ absenteeism in primary schools in the division. The target population was 3,016, comprising of 16 head teachers, 105 teachers and 2,895 pupils. Out of the target population, a sample size of 112 subjects were drawn comprising of five head teachers, 32 teachers and 75 class seven pupils. Class seven pupils were selected using purposive sampling to take part in the study as the researcher believed that pupils in that class would provide relevant, consistent and accurate information in relation to the study. The study utilized a descriptive survey research design since a sample out of a target population was used. Questionnaires were employed to draw information from teachers and pupils while, an interview schedule was employed to gather data from the school head teachers. The three instruments were pretested for validity and reliability before being used in the field. The questionnaires were delivered and administered to the subjects by the researcher and conducted interviews by himself. The data collected was analyzed using descriptive statistics such as frequencies, means and standard deviations. The qualitative data was summarized and analyzed using themes and categories derived from the responses. The data analysis was done using the SPSS Version 22 Computer Software. The analysis of the results indicated that all the four variables influenced the learners’ absenteeism from school. In relation to absenteeism the study concludes that all the factors investigated have a contribution to make towards pupils’ absenteeism. It was recommended that the parents and the community should be encouraged to understand the value of their children’s education. The head-teachers, the local education officers and the teachers should ensure that all the needed teaching and learning facilities are adequately and well utilized so as to improve on the school performance, as well as, practice effective school management principles and look for ways and measures to encourage participation of parents with limited resources to participate in school activities. However, the study suggests that a further study be done to investigate other factors that influence pupils’ absenteeism in primary schools apart from the ones discussed above. Further, a study also should be done to investigate the effects of political instability, as well as, insecurity on the pupils’ absenteeism.