One of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) of education is to ensure that by the year 2015, children everywhere that is boys and girls alike, will be able to complete their primary education. However, with an estimated net primary school enrollment rate (NER) of 92.5%, completion rate of 79.5% and drop-out rate of 3.5%, Kenya has not yet achieved full access to Universal Primary Education (UPE) for school going-age children. This study sought to establish the influence of pupils' parental economic background, pupils' community culture and pupils' parental level of education on access to Primary Education (PE) in Masimba Division, Masaba South District Kisii County of Kenya. The study adopted the descriptive survey design. The target population was 405 teachers and 16059 pupils in all public primary schools in Masimba Division. Stratified random sampling was used to select the subjects for the study who comprised of 150 teachers and 361 pupils from 36 selected public primary schools. Two instruments namely; Teacher's Questionnaire (TQ) and pupil's Questionnaire (PQ) developed by the researcher were used to collect data. The research instruments were pilot tested in two randomly selected public primary schools. Pre-testing the instruments was meant to validate and estimate their reliability in collecting the anticipated data. The questionnaires were further validated through review by four lecturers in the department of curriculum and instruction, Egerton University. The reliability indices for the instruments, these are teachers' and pupils' questionnaires were 0.81 and 0.76 respectively. The data collected was analyzed using descriptive statistics which include frequencies, Percentages and Means. The findings of the study indicated that pupil's economic background, pupils' community culture and pupil's parental level of education influence access to primary education. The study has recommended that the FPE policy need to be backed by clear details on key points such as 'what free entails', this has left a vacuum that is interpreted differently in different primary schools. Parents should also be sensitized during class conferences and annual general meetings on the value of education and discourage cultural practices that hinder pupil's access to primary education. Adult literacy programme need also to be attached to every primary school in the division with the aim of getting parents aware of their role in pupil's access to PE.

Background of the Study
The Government of Kenya (GOK, 2001) asserts that before the Emergency of the 1950s, nationalist leaders were pressing the colonial administration to make primary education compulsory for African children as it already was for children of European and Asian origin. Additionally, at Independence in 1963, the Government of Kenya affirmed its commitment to free, universal primary education in several policy documents, but did not set a timetable for achieving it. Further, the first Free Primary Education (FPE) initiative came after a decade of Independence, when, in 1974, formal school fees for the first four standards were abolished. The report indicates that" the response was immediate and dramatic: in a single year, from 1973 to 1974, the Standard 1 intake shot up by more than 150%. Increased enrolments placed enormous strains on school resources: trained teachers, classrooms, textbooks and other learning materials were all in short supply, so quality suffered. In response the schools began imposing levies, to cover in particular the heavy costs of constructing new classrooms.

Ministry of Education Science and Technology (MOES&T, 2004) highlights that Universal Primary Education (UPE) is an international development goal which all countries are expected to achieve by the year 2015. The World Conference on Education For All (EFA) held in 1990 is the basis of current discussions on UPE. During the conference, the importance of primary education was recognized and a new concept of 'basic learning needs' for people, not limited to schooling, was proposed. Article I of the World Declaration on EFA adopted at the conference clearly states that every person (child, youth and adult) shall be able to benefit from educational opportunities designed to meet their basic learning needs, focusing on value, significance, and effects of education for individuals. The Dakar Framework for Action of 2000 set the goal with the statement that by 2015 all children in difficult circumstances and those belonging to ethnic minorities, have access to and complete free and compulsory primary education of good quality. This was further reflected in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Kenya has been trying to achieve UPE as a national goal since its independence. Reintroduction of free primary education in 2003 dramatically increased the number of children attending school.

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO,2010) indicates that the major milestone in primary education was abolition of fees in 2003 and subsequent introduction of free primary education, which increased the number of children enrolled in schools from 5.9 million in 2002 to 7.6 million in 2006 and 8.6 million in 2008. The report further highlights that Net Enrolment Rate (NER) was 77.3 percent in 2002, rising to 92.5% in 2008 implying that about 7.5% of the primary school going-age pupils are not in school. There was also growth in the number of Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) candidates, from 540,069 in 2002 to 704,520 in 2007, followed by a slight decline to 695,701 in 2008. Table 1 shows Net enrolment trends in Kenya by sex in primary schools between 2002 and 2008....

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Item Type: Kenyan Topic  |  Size: 79 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.


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