The government of Kenya has provided free and compulsory primary education for all school going children. Irrespective of free education there is significant wastage rate of primary school children in public schools in Keiyo South Sub County. The main objectives of the study were to investigate socio-cultural factors that influence pupils‟ wastage in public primary schools in Keiyo South Sub County. Specific Objectives of the study were: to identify the socio-cultural factors that influence pupil‟s wastage, explain the influence of socio-cultural factors on pupil‟s wastage, identify institutional factors that influence pupil‟s wastage and to explain the influence of institutional factors on pupil‟s wastage. The study was based on systems theory as postulated by Bertalanffy, which explains the relationship between inputs and outputs of the school system. A descriptive survey research design was adopted for the study. The target population comprised of head teachers, class teachers and pupils of public primary schools in Keiyo South Sub County. Stratified sampling technique was used to select schools where the strata were based on school population category. Simple random sampling was used to select the pupils. The sample size comprised of 10 head teachers, 80 class teachers and 200 pupils. The study utilized both primary and secondary data. The research instruments used to collect data were the questionnaire, interview schedule and class registers. The questionnaires were made up of both open and closed-ended questions and were administered by the researcher. The interview schedule was used to collect pupil‟s views collectively, through group interview whereas the class register was used to scrutinize pupils‟ record of school attendance. Data collected was analysed with the aid of Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) and specifically the use of frequency and percentages. Data was presented using frequency distribution tables and thematic descriptions. The study findings indicated that while there were so many causes of primary school pupil‟s wastage, poverty was the main cause. The study recommends that pro-active implementation of the policies geared towards a Universal free primary education be enforced and incentives that motivates pupils for example school feeding programmes be initiated or reinstated so that school enrolments go up. The study will inform and serve as a guide to education managers in policy directions towards addressing primary school pupils‟ wastage in the country.

Background to the study 
Education is a human right and Kenya subscribes to this declaration. The ministry of education recognizes that each child is a vital member of society, and that every child‟s education is the key to Kenya‟s development. Children are starting primary school in greater numbers but wastage rates are significant leading to low levels of primary school completion in many countries. Lewin (2009), states that, pupils are enrolled in large numbers in many countries in sub-Saharan Africa but; by the end of the primary school cycle, the enrolment rate drops significantly, even below 50 parent, indicating high pupil wastage in public primary schools. In the USA dropout of pupils is caused by English language when pupils are unable to master the language skills (National Centre for Education Statistics, 1997). Children drop out of school without acquiring the most basic skills Failure to complete basic education represents a significant drain on the limited resources that countries have for the provision of primary education. 

When parents are responsive to children‟s education, they are likely to be competent and develop more interest for school (Connell, 2002). This can help pupil practice study skills, prepare for class, participate in learning activities and develop personal responsibility. The over aged pupils are more likely not to complete basic education cycle. This is due to the facts that, the older the child the opportunity cost of schooling increases significantly with pressure from peer to work or to get married (UNESCO,2005). 

According to Oredein and Oloyede (2007), pupils‟ wastage in school is contributed by teacher‟s factors. The wastage is linked to low academic achievement, incidence of lateness to school, frequent absenteeism and inability to complete the syllabi. Pupils academic success in school is greatly influenced by the socio factors at home where the pupils come from and the school where they learn. Parent engagement in school activities contribute to greater knowledge with school programs. These may enable the parent to guide the child on the importance of schooling. Most parents do not provide proper guidance, appropriate supervision and are unable to clearly communicate their values such as hard work, competent and honest to children. These put the children in an even greater danger of giving in to negative peer pressure which may lead to wastage. Biddle (2001), explains that it is unfortunate that many pupils do not have parents who are actively involved in their lives. These changes in societal may be due to more time being spent by the parents at their place of work and leaving little or no time for their families. 

In Tanzania, students' school achievements are attributed to socio cultural factors notably parents' level of education, mother tongue and gender (UNESCO, 2006). The level of education of the parent has an influence in the child‟s performance. It acts as a guide to the child to further move in education ladder. The parent has an impact on whether students apply for non-government school or government schools. They also determine whether the child receives tuition from the teacher after regular school hours. Report by the Ministry of Education (2007) indicated that 58% of the Kenyan population is living below poverty line. This consequently leads to inability of the poor parents to meet education cost and therefore becomes a barrier to the education of children. 

Wastage rate has been recognised as a problem by UNESCO (2006). Member States have been aware that it was an obstacle to the achievement of the targets Karachi, (1960). The reports published since then, have emphasised the continuing nature of the problem. In addition, individual Member States initiated actions aimed at becoming aware of the problem of pupil wastage. There are several causes of primary school wastage (Anderson, Kerr- Roubicek & Rowling, 2006; Gallagher, 2002). Its intensity varies from country to country, where wastage is higher, it is usually believed to be associated with non-enrolment and a lower percentage of girls than boys in the school system. The ideal situation is that all countries are striving towards 100 per cent enrolment of both boys and girls, and 100 per cent retention at least up to the end of the primary school. Countries striving to attain UPE have to eliminate pupil wastage. Universal Primary Education is not possible in an educational system where pupil wastage exists. 

It is believed that Socio-cultural factors that include all issues that resolve around customs and beliefs of the people play a significant role in influencing pupil wastage. Children are culturally influenced by the way Parents are involved in the development of attitude, values and practices in raising them. The Cultural way of living in totality may include initiation, early pregnancies, peer pressure, poverty, religious practices, beliefs, domestic chores and parental attitude. Studies indicate that in many communities set ups, socio-cultural factors have influence pupil‟s wastage. It is also not known which specific socio-cultural factors contribute to pupils‟ wastage. The girl receives less education than the boys and they tend to dropout or withdraw for socio-cultural reasons. Socio-cultural factors exert pressure from birth, through the child rearing practices by different communities, initiation and marriage to old age. Socio-cultural practices pose as a challenge to drop out of pupils in school hence need to be investigated (Isaiah, 2011). 

Institutional factors may influence school dropout in a particular way, it is also not known which institutional factor influence pupils‟ wastage. The school has a powerful influence on student‟s achievement and wastage. There are many forms of school factors which include and not limited to pupil‟s composition, school resources, structural characteristics of the school and school practices (Rumberger& Thomas, 2000; Ananga (2011). Adu and Olatundun, (2007) stated that teachers‟ characteristics are strongly determiners of students‟ performance in schools. Teachers have a lot of influence on their classroom practices. Teachers should have and apply specific abilities in their subjects which is not limited to guidance and counselling to enable their pupils improve performance. Without their influence pupils who come from low status are more likely to drop out of school causing wastage. Kombo (2005), observed that the relationship style of the head teacher creates a conducive learning environment for pupil. A cordial relationship between the head teacher, teachers and the pupils create conducive environment to learning as discussions are listened to. 

According to Lewin (2009), wastage rate for primary school pupils aged 15 to 19 years old and the survival rate to the end of primary school for pupils aged 10 to 19 years are indicators affected by the degree of drop out and repetition in the system. Institutional factors of gender orientation such as inadequate latrines, sanitary facilities for girls especially in rural schools, lack of school uniform and repetition have contributed to wastage of pupil. The low achievers in schools who are forced to repeat grades increase the chances of dropping out of school. Those pupils who are over-age in their grades perform poorly in their academic work compared to the young pupils, hence marginalization within the school is likely to proceed from poor achievement to academic failure and eventually wastage. 

According to Dachi and Garret (2003); Hunter and May (2003); it highlighted the link between poverty and dropping out from school. It states out poverty as a plausible explanation of school disruption in most schools. Looking at the issue from how people regard schooling and its importance, Pryor and Ampiah (2003) explains that the interactions between schooling, household income and school may or may not lead to pupil‟s wastage. In some villages in Ghana, education is regarded as “relative luxury,” with many villages considering education not worthwhile. Depending on the environment, the school can open or close doors that lead to wastage (Barr, 2005). Socio cultural factors differ from one community to another or from one region to another. Addressing the teachers, parents and the pupils during educational day in Keiyo South Sub County, in the year 2012, education stakeholders, expressed their concern over pupil wastage in Keiyo South Sub County. Community leaders also expressed the same sentiments. Thus, there was need to carry out a study on socio cultural factors that influence pupil wastage in the context of Keiyo South Sub County.

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