INFLUENCE OF SELECTED MAASAI CULTURAL PRACTICES ON INTERNAL EFFICIENCY IN PUBLIC SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN NAROK SOUTH SUB- COUNTY NAROK COUNTY KENYA

ABSTRACT
Education forms the basis upon which economic, social and political development of any nation is founded. As a basic human right, it is universally proclaimed by many countries of the world. Despite the efforts made by the government and other stakeholders to achieve Education For All (EFA), there are challenges of dropouts, repetition and low transition rates. The study was carried out in Narok South Sub-County as it was reported to have cultural practices that affect internal efficiency in education. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of selected Maasai cultural practices specifically circumcision, early marriages, moranism and nomadic pastoralism on internal efficiency in public secondary schools. The selected indicators of internal efficiency were dropout‟s rates, repetition rates and transition rates. The researcher adopted the production function theory. Ex-post facto research design was used. The target population was 170 respondents comprising of (34) principals and (136) class secretaries in public secondary schools in Narok South Sub-County. Purposive sampling was used to select (31) principals while stratified sampling was used to select (124) class secretaries to form a sample size of 155. Data was collected using interview schedule for principals and questionnaire for the class secretaries. Reliability of the instruments was estimated using cronbach alpha coefficient formula and was found to be 0.81, indicating that they attained a reliability coefficient above the 0.7 threshold, thus deemed acceptable. The data collected was analysed using statistical package for social science. Descriptive statistics was used to analyse background information while inferential statistics (poison regression) was used to determine influence of selected Maasai cultural practices on internal efficiency. The level of significance was tested at alpha coefficient (α-level) equal to 0.05. Data was presented using frequency tables, pie charts and bar graphs. From the study results majority of the respondents were affected by cultural practices from the age of 10-24 years. Circumcision had a significant influence on repetition rates (P < 0.002), transition rates (P < 0.001) and dropout rates (P < 0.002). Early marriages had a significant influence on repetition rates (P < 0.0141), transition rates (P < 0.0080) and dropout rates (P < 0.0018). Moranism also had a significant influence on repetition rates (P < 0.020), transition rates (P < 0.003) and dropout rates (P < 0.002). Nomadic pastoralism had a significant influence on repetition rates (P < 0.000), transition rates (P < 0.002) and dropout rates (P < 0.008). All internal efficiency factors were influenced by the cultural practices. The study recommends the government and stakeholders to enhance internal efficiency by creating awareness to parents on the retrogressive cultural practices in Narok South Sub-County.

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
Background to the Study
Investment in education can help to foster economic growth, enhance productivity, contribute to national and social development and reduce social inequality (World Bank, 2008). A country‟s educational level is a key indicator of its level of development (UNESCO, 2008). Globally, education is recognized by Article 28 of the Human Rights Charter of the United Nations Convention (UNC) which outlines that, “every child has a right to education no matter his or her circumstance”. The Government of Kenya has stated its commitment to making this a reality (Republic of Kenya, 2009). The commitment of achieving access to education is of utmost importance since it is a fundamental principle of the EFA Agenda. According to UNESCO (2008) equity in education should ensure provision of appropriate, relevant and viable learning opportunities to all children without any discrimination. In efforts to achieve national, regional, and international commitments of providing quality education to all citizens, the Government of Kenya has taken affirmative action to ensure that children in the minority and marginalized communities are provided special opportunities in educational and economic fields (UNESCO, 2013).

Narok South Sub-County has been reported having low internal inefficiency (DEO, 2015). Internal efficiency is measured in terms of dropout rates, repetition rates and transition rates. According to UNESCO (2008) most girls after undergoing female genital mutilation and boys enrolling in moranism as a cultural rite of passage dropout of school as they are termed as young adults who are expected to carry out procreation and bring up another generation. An education system is said to be efficient if maximum output is obtained from a given input or if a given output is obtained with minimum possible inputs. Ngware (2000) observed that internal efficiency refers to whether education systems achieve their internally set objectives as measured by retention rates, promotion rates, cohort wastage rates, utilization factor, optimum institutional size, unit costs and graduation rates.

Educational inputs comprise the buildings, teachers, and books, teaching materials and learning equipment (Levine, Green & Caren, 2008). These are aggregated financially in terms of expenditures per pupil years (Ngware, 2000). However the number of pupil years used by a cohort of pupils to graduate constitutes an input indicator appropriate for the measure of efficiency in education (Achoka, 2007). According to Ombongi (2008) the notion of internal 1 efficiency can be derived considering the relationship between inputs and outputs when pupils flow through the grades structure of an educational cycle. In a perfectly efficient system, the coefficient of efficiency would equal hundred percent (100%) and inefficiency arises when it is lesser than hundred percent (100%). If the input-output rate is used instead, the perfect state would be one, and inefficiency arises from any point which is greater than one. Since it is often costly and difficult to generalize the school records system based on reliable pupil information, educational internal efficiency is assessed using the reconstructed cohort method (Ngware, 2000). This would take care of promotion, retention and graduation rates.

The problems of measuring efficiency in education however are considerable. They stem mainly from difficulties in measuring educational outputs as well as from quantifying the relationship between inputs and outputs. How educational output is measured depends of course, on the nature of the objectives of the educational system. One such approach consists of considering the output of a given cycle of education as the number of pupil who complete this cycle. The educational attainment of the pupils dropping out as well as the level of educational achievement of the graduates should therefore be taken into account. While using a reconstructed Cohort method and an input-output framework, it is concluded that repetition and dropping out is wastage of educational resources (Psacharapoulos & Patrinos, 2002). They argue that repetition has potentially harmful effects on students‟ self-esteem and attitudes towards schooling.

Repetition is a strong predictor of dropping out from school. Other effects associated with repetition are increased educational costs, reduced intake capacity and diminished quality of education through overcrowding (Ngware, 2000). Dropping out is a gradual drifting away from the mainstream of school life. Such drifting away is a product of various factors. Repetition and absenteeism are some of the major predictors of dropping out (Aikman & Unterhalter, 2006). He noted that repetition is not a waste since the repeaters acquire more learning experiences and improve on their competency on various skills. The question that can be raised here is whether repetition is the most effective way to improve on the students' outcome. Potential dropouts enter school academically disadvantaged due to a host of socio - economic factors (Odebero, 2002). These factors are reinforced by a diversified curriculum that results in different academic experiences among students within institution.

Educational systems in developing countries have been noted to have high levels of inefficiency in schools (Verspour, 2008). This is evidenced by high wastage rate in form of repeating and dropping out (Brown, 2012). It is reported that low budgetary allocation to the sector lowers the level of school internal efficiency (RoK, 2012). These allocations are meant to improve teachers' skills, physical infrastructure such as classrooms, workshops and laboratories, and learning materials. Low students' participation becomes unequivocal as a result of school related factors such as physical remoteness, restrictive promotion policies and poor learning environment occasioned by irregular attendance of classes by teachers and students, lack of clear academic goals and non-involvement of students in decision making process which Cretes strained relationships between teachers and the administration on the one hand and students on the other.

It has been established that high repetition rates in rural schools are directly affected by students‟ achievement in mathematics and language (Hanushek, Link, & Woessmann, 2013). Achievement is in itself influenced by school inputs such as textbooks, reading materials and teacher quality. Schools should therefore improve on the quality and quantity of inputs in order to reduce the repetition rates. The improved flow of students through the school would more than compensate for the cost of inputs. Studies have focused on resources utilization by seeking to find out the nature and varieties of resources teachers need in order to perform their assigned tasks effectively. These studies have at the same time sought to find out how the presence or lack of these resources relate to educational outcomes (Anderson & Broche, 2003). The quantity of such resources, their durability, and sustainability and how they influence learning in situations where there is a severe lack of similar materials are important considerations for research purposes.

The level of inefficiency is further worsened by the negative perceptions held by some students towards education, which due to high level of educated unemployment causes poor attitudes towards regular schooling (Verspour, 2008). Cultural practices which expose girls for marriage in exchange of a bride price at an early age before completing school may increase the level of school dropout (RoK, 2012). Parents become disillusioned with the expected educational benefits. Thus, they withdraw their daughters from schools to marry them off in exchange of dowry. If this trend continues, Kenya could be faced with a major crisis in learning institutions as more girls would be edged out of the school system due to forced marriages. This has the potentials to jeopardize their future productivity and earnings.

In Kenya, the stakeholders recognize that although major strides have been made in education in quantitative terms, there are serious shortcomings in the education system. Despite heavy investments in the 8:4:4 system of education, high wastage as a result of low promotion and retention rates are experienced (RoK, 2012). Wastage is the worst form of inefficiency because when learners drop out of school, resources already invested in them go to waste. A study carried out by Achoka (2007) on ten cohorts between 1990 and 2002 revealed that dropout rates for the ten cohorts ranged between ten and fifty percent. Emerging from this fact is a crucial question, where do the girls and boys who drop out of these cohorts go? And what do they do where ever they go? Kenya incurs a loss through drop out in educational sector (Ombongi, 2008). The drop out signifies unfulfilled aim, goal and objective for the individual, community, and nation as a whole. For instance, for any drop out at the secondary school level, the country loses the potential workforce. Thus in Kenya, all education stakeholders must consider over some of the specific factors that may be contributing to cases of dropout.

Furthermore, it has been noted that repeaters in Form 3 and 4 is a common occurrence in some parts of Kenya (UNESCO 2011). Grade repetition has adverse effects as it lowers a school capacity to admit new students. Besides, it also Cretes overcrowded classroom environments and increases opportunity costs to the individuals and their families for it implies many years of forgone income since the affected learner will enter the labour market belatedly (Verspour, 2008). This has the potentials to lower the expected earnings of the graduates. Some of the major factors, which are behind low internal efficiency in public schools, have been highlighted as education policies and institutional processes; school-based factors; and household and community based factors (Abagi & Odipo, 1997). An in-depth understanding of these factors will allow for meaningful reforms to take place in an attempt to make schools efficient vehicles for national development.

Dropout is another form of inefficiency in the school system. The reasons for dropout are varied from one student to another. According to Ombongi (2008) the main factors are forced repetition, lack of school fees, early marriages, child labour, indiscipline cases, early pregnancies, cultural factors among others. This has made the government to enforce laws that aim at increasing efficiency in schools including banning of child labour, banning forced repetition in public schools, re-admission of girl child after delivery, discouraging early marriages among others (RoK, 2010). According to UNESCO (2008) the internal efficiency in secondary schools is measured in terms of the number of enrolments at secondary level, the transition rates, the dropout rates and repetition rates. According to Noor (2008) repetition is considered as inefficiency or wastage since a student uses resources that are meant to be used by another student. This has made the government to ban compulsory repetition at all levels mainly in public secondary schools where school fees is funded by the government (Ombongi, 2008).

A low transition rate also indicates low internal efficiency levels. This refers to progressing from the primary levels to the public secondary schools. Many students are not able to progress to secondary level mainly where there are no day schools in the neighbourhood as they are required to pay for their meals. According to Levine, green and Caren (2008) some students fail to continue with their education due to cultural factors including Moranism and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). The Maasai culture is known to be very rigid such that even today they still hold to their old traditional beliefs and norms such as forced marriages where parents marry off their daughters without the girl‟s consent after undergoing the rite. The boys are similarly considered ready for marriage immediately after circumcision as they become warriors who can defend the society. According to Malenya (2008) circumcision for boys is mainly done after completion of primary school. This rite of passage in Maasai community sometimes takes several months thus delaying the reporting time for the student to secondary schools and school absenteeism.

Some of the major factors, which are behind low internal efficiency in public schools, have been highlighted as education policies and institutional processes; school-based factors; and household and community based factors (Malenya, 2008). An in-depth understanding of these factors will allow for meaningful reforms to take place in an attempt to make schools efficient vehicles for national development. In areas where traditional circumcision is still practiced, some pupils are pulled out of school to participate in initiation ceremonies (Lanyasunya, 2012). Some initiated girls get married immediately after they have been initiated due to pressure put on them to leave school and meet traditional expectations. Initiation cases among students are likely to decrease in the near future due to critical measures taken by the society in general and education system in particular to address the problem.

The Narok South Sub-County is classified as a marginal area. People stay in clusters according to clans at specific areas which are far from each other where there‟s availability of water for their animals. This has made establishment of schools to be difficult in most of these areas. The available schools are therefore far from each other. This has made the children to enrol at the basic level at a late age thus over age. Consequently they sometimes get to form one when they are already over the age of seventeen years, due to drought and repetition (RoK, 2011). This makes them to grow big while at primary levels and most girls may be married off before sitting for their Kenya Certificate Primary Education (KCPE), (Levine et al., 2008). The community has few role models who are educated occupying high positions in management, political other leadership positions. Most of those appointed in high positions are the rich in terms of number of animals and wives they have. This has made the young generation to be left out in leadership positions in the Sub-County as the rich clans continue dominating the leadership positions, this does not motivate the students towards working hard in schools and don‟t take their education seriously, hence improper use of educational resources (Anderson & Broche, 2003).

According to Dore, Luscher and Bonfim (2008) Parent education and family interaction patterns during childhood are linked more directly to the child‟s developing academic success and achievement-oriented attitudes. In the general social learning and social-cognitive behaviour is shaped in part through observational and direct learning experiences. Those experiences lead to the formation of internalized cognitive scripts, values, and beliefs that guide and maintain behaviour over time (Grant & Hallman 2006). Tobiko (2009) stated that 60% of the maasai children in rural areas do not attend formal schools and only 8% of all girls in rural areas of Maasai land have had a chance to complete schools in Narok County. There is no girl who has ever achieved a mean grade of A or A- in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary School (KCSE) in Secondary Schools in Narok County for almost three decades (MOE, 2015) The Kenya Constitution (2010, CAP 4, Article 27, clauses 3 and 8) requires that both women and men have the right to equal opportunities. The girls‟ failures to attain the university requirements deny them their rights to university education and equal opportunities. UNESCO (2010(a)) asserts that gender disparity in education persists despite many World and National policies being put in place to make gender parity a reality. It was noted by Sheila (2006) that the challenges faced by women in nomadic communities in Kenya is that they have not been given sufficient attention by the government in spite of the enactment of laws and policies.

According to Basic Education Statistics Data, Ministry of Education (MOE, 2015) Narok South Sub-County had a total of 34 public secondary schools. According to the data, circumcision, early marriages, moranism and nomadic pastoralism had been the major cultural factors influencing dropout rates, repetition rates and low transition rates in the public secondary schools. However there are other factors that influence internal efficiency such as death, parental illness, pregnancy cases and absenteeism across all the forms (form one, two, three and four). The selected Maasai cultural practices have been viewed as key factors influencing the level of dropout rates, repetition rates and transition rates....

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