Education is critical for the development of a country. Governments invest in it and prioritize it as a service to its citizens. However, due to the huge resources needed for provision of education, many governments, including the government of Kenya, have introduced the cost-sharing policy to reduce budgetary allocated to the education sector. The average government spending on education , excluding the share by households had risen between 5 and 7 percent of the GDP by 2005 (GOK,2005) According to the policy, parents and the government share the cost-sharing. This has however, placed a heavy burden on parents as they are required to pay school fees and also finance development projects, boarding and personal requirements. This study sought to investigate the relationship between cost sharing and access and equity in public secondary schools in Nakuru district. The study adopted correlational research design. The targeted population was 43,843 students and 125 head teachers in public secondary schools, with an accessible population of 7814 Form four students of the 2004 cohort. The sample consisted of 393 students and 10 head teachers selected from 10 schools. Data were collected using student and head teacher structured questionnaires. The instrument for students had a reliability coefficient of 0.76. Data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Descriptive statistics included frequencies and percentages, while inferential statistics entailed chi-square tested at the significance level of 0.05. Analysis was done using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 11.5 for Windows. The findings indicated that the cost-sharing had a significant relationship with the enrolment rates of public secondary school students according to school category. However, the schools had different enrolment rates regardless of their school type. Cost-sharing had a significant relationship with attendance rates of public secondary school students by school category and type. Flow rates depended on the availability of teaching and learning facilities regardless of cost sharing. There were inequities in access to education between female and male students due to the relatively high cost of education of girls compared to the boys . The study recommends that there is need for the government to produce adequate learning and teaching materials at regional levels. The cost -sharing policy should be reviewed to make it more responsive to the unique and diverse requirements of different categories of schools and the ability of the parents to meet the cost. Further research is recommended on the implementation of the free tuition policy in public secondary school education.

Background Information
A historical analysis of the patterns and trends of education financing in Kenya reveals the existence of a partnership between the state, households, and communities long before the official enunciation and inauguration of the cost-sharing policy. The cost sharing policy only added a new dimension, depth and breadth to the volume of the community and household expenditure on education services (Abagi & Odipo, 1997). During the colonial era, and immediately after independence the government met the teachers’ salaries, constructed physical facilities and provided equipment and other learning and teaching materials. Parents paid statutory fees, which were regulated by the government. (GOK 1999)

The financing of secondary education has, however, become problematic, as parents have to shoulder an increasingly large proportion of the cost-sharing. Nevertheless, investment in education is key to the development process in any country (GOK, 1988). World Bank (1996) adds that increased investment in education results in improved social rate of return and produces a big pay-off for the recipient and by extension, his or her family regardless of the financing source. There is a positive correlation between education and an individual’s earnings and the better educated individuals are more productive. They are not only in employment but also in the household. Research has revealed that education’s rate of return to individual is greater than to society (World Bank, 1996).

A study by Psacharopoulos and Woodhall (1985) shows that the returns of investment in Education in Africa expressed as social rates of return for primary are 26%, secondary 17% and higher education 13%. At the same time, the individual rates of return for various educational levels were estimated as follows: for primary 45%, secondary 26%, and higher education 32%.

The private rate of return, for all levels of education was thus higher for individuals than for society in general. This has been taken as an argument for cost-sharing in education such that a greater share of the burden of education should be shouldered by those to whom the greater benefits will eventually accrue (Orodho, 2001).

In Kenya, since independence, there has been remarkable improvement in the educational system, due to the large national investment in education (GOK, 1988). Convinced of the role of education in promoting and accelerating economic and social development, GOK devoted the early years of independence to the development and expansion of the education sector (Orodho & Njeru, 2003). Since independence, the nation has encouraged rapid expansion of educational opportunities (GOK, 1986) The Commission of Inquiry into the Education System of Kenya recommended an expanded free basic education from early childhood to secondary school level (GOK, 1999). This is in line with one of the government’s guiding philosophies for education that every Kenyan has an inalienable right to free education, no matter his or her socio-economic status (GOK, 1997).Shortly after independence, Kenya Education Commission chaired by Ominde found that resources for education were not sufficient (GOK, 1964).

Secondary education enrolment grew tremendously within the first two decades after independence. The enrolments rose from 30,000 students in 1963 to over 862, 907 students in 2003. The number of public secondary schools also increased from 151 at independence to 3,661 by 2005. Based on the 1999 census data a total of 2.8 million boys and girls aged 14 and 17 years who should have been in secondary schools were not enrolled, policy measures are therefore required to address the poor access to secondary education as a way of supporting the country overall development goals (GOK, 2005).

Table 1 shows that enrolment in secondary schools increased by 10.3 % from 934,149 in 2005 to 1,030,080 in 2006. The number of boys enrolled was higher than that of girls by 62,064 students. Participation at secondary school level is still low with Gross Enrolment Rate (GER) and Net Enrolment Rate (NER) estimated at 32.4 % and 23.2 % in 2006, respectively.

Admission to Form One as a percentage of total KCPE candidates increased from 56.0 % in 2005 to 60.0 % in 2006. The number of KCSE candidates increased by 17.1 % from 222,676 in 2005 to 260,665 in 2006 (GOK, 2007)....

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Item Type: Kenyan Material  |  Attribute: 95 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
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