The Free Primary Education (FPE) programme was commissioned in January 2003 to provide basic education to all Kenyan children of school going age and to ease the burden of cost sharing from the parents. The public primary school class teachers were to shoulder the greatest responsibility in the implementation of this programme but the assessment of the success of this programme has not involved the class teachers who are the main stakeholders. The study therefore aimed at assessing the adequacy and quality of FPE based on the perceptions of the class and head teachers in public primary schools in Ndaragwa Division, Nyandarua County. The assessment of the programme was based on four aspects of the programme which included: the provision of teaching / learning materials, provision of physical facilities, provision of teachers, and the roles played by the School Management Committees. A survey was conducted to collect information from 130 class teachers and 23 head teachers who were purposively selected from 23 schools. A structured questionnaire consisting of 38-items was used to gauge the perceptions of the respondents on each item on a five point Likert scale (1=Very Inadequate to indicate lack of enough materials, 2=Inadequate, 3=moderately adequate, 4=Adequate and 5=Very Adequate, to indicate satisfactory levels of the materials). The data was analyzed using descriptive statistics for objective one to four (means and frequency distributions) and inferential statistics for objective five (t-test). This was done with the aid of the Statistical Package for the Social Science (SPSS version 21). The results of the study revealed that there existed a variation in the adequacy and quality of the items provided by the FPE programme in Ndaragwa division. The quality of teaching and learning materials, physical facilities, and management committees was found to be Moderately Adequate, while that of the teachers was found to be Adequate. The adequacy of the teaching and learning materials, physical facilities, and management committees was found to be Moderately Adequate, while that of the teachers was found to be Adequate. Significant differences (p≤ 05) were found between the class teachers and head teachers’ assessment of the adequacy of the learning and teaching resources, while no significant differences (p≥.05) were found in quality. Implementing the recommendations of this research could assist push the country closer to achieving Universal Education For All (UFA) by 2015 which is one of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Background to the Study
Education is the cornerstone of the development process in a nation. It increases the productive capacity of its citizens, which has an incremental effect on the society’s aspirations in the economic, social-cultural and political realms. Over 40 years ago, the Nations of the World, speaking through the Universal Declaration of Human Rights asserted “everyone has a right to education” (World Bank, 2003). Despite notable efforts by the countries around the globe to ensure the right of education for all, more than 100 million children worldwide have no access to primary education as per the World Education Forum held in Darkar (2002) which was about making this declaration a reality. The Darkar forum was a culminating event of the Education for All (EFA), initiated in Jomtien, Thailand in 1990.Out of the 163 countries that had attended the world education forum in Darkar, 47 countries had attained Universal Primary Education (UPE) 20 are likely to attain UPE by 2015, 23 are at risk of not achieving UPE due to backward development in terms of Net Enrolment Ratio (NER) and 44 are highly unlikely to achieve UPE by 2015 this is as per United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO, 2002).

Africa has experienced positive progress towards realizing the goal of UPE where the net enrolment rate has increased on average from 54% in 1990 to over 60% in 2002(GoK, 2005). During this same period, Kenya recorded a decline in the NER from 80% in 1990 to 74% in 2002 mainly due to the cost sharing policy where the parent was to cater for uniforms and teaching materials while the government was to cater for school infrastructure and teachers. However, this situation was reversed when the government introduced the Free Primary Education (FPE) policy in 2003 and Kenya is likely to achieve this goal of UPE by 2015 (GoK, 2005). Uganda, Kenya Malawi and Tanzania have eliminated formal school fees in line with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of making primary education accessible to all. Of all the sub-sectors of education in Kenya, the primary level is perhaps the sub-sector with the highest rate of return (World Bank, 1990). This is in light of the observation that it is associated with increased productivity of a country’s citizens, enhanced innovative ability of workers, crime reduction, high level of environment conservation at the grassroots level, enhanced social cohesion and positive neighbourhood effect.

These benefits also accrue from the post primary level of education. However, it needs to be realized that primary education is not only accessible to most people in the population but its graduates readily take up jobs in the informal sector (World Bank, 1990). It is in realization of the critical role that primary level of education plays that this sub-sector has continued to receive more budgetary allocations in Kenya as shown in Table 1....

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Item Type: Kenyan Topic  |  Size: 85 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.


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