The increasing importance of education as a driver of growth, information and communication revolution has been noticeable during the 21st century as epitomized by educational mobility and global schooling. It is important that children enroll and remain in school for the entire cycle. A number of factors have been found to affect school enrolment. The purpose of this study was to establish the role of selected parental socio-economic status on pupils‟ enrolment in primary schools in Tambach Sub –County in Elgeyo-Marakwet County of Kenya. The study was carried out in public primary schools in Tambach Sub-County. The study employed Social Darwinism theory, that arguably posits that educational systems should be designed so as to remove barriers of any nature that prevent children from lower economic backgrounds from taking advantage of their abilities. The study utilized descriptive survey research design. The study targeted a total population of 7998 in Tambach Sub-County and from which a sample size of 399 was selected using simple random sampling technique. Purposive sampling technique was also used to sample 8 head teachers, 8 school management committee members and 27 class teachers and one Education Officer who provided useful information. Qualitative techniques of data analysis were used. Questionnaires and interview schedule were used to collect data. Data collection tools were validated through specific changes made by the supervisors in order to ensure they conformed to the study objectives. Reliability of the tools was established by use of Pearson Product moment. The questionnaires had a reliability of 0.8 which was at the acceptable threshold index of 0.70.The descriptive statistics technique and statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) was used to analyze data and the results presented as frequencies, means and percentages. From the research findings, the study established that parental level of education; income and occupation play a key role in the enrolment of pupils and maintaining them in primary schools up to standard eight in Tambach Sub-County. It also recommended the need for the Ministry of Education and other stakeholders to formulate sound policies that are aimed at enhancing the enrolment of pupils in primary schools.

Background of the Study
Education is the best legacy a nation can give to her citizens especially the youth. This is because the development of any country depends largely on the quality of education. It is universally believed that the basis for any true development must start with development of human resources (UNESCO, 2005).It is for this reason that during the year 2002, global net enrolment was around 87 percent with a gross enrolment ratio of around 100 percent (World Bank, 2007). In the same year, even poor countries were recording high enrolments at low income levels.

In the United States of America, for instance from school years 2011-2012 overall elementary and secondary school enrollment was projected to increase by 5 percent (from 49.5 to 52.1 million students) with changes across states ranging from an increase of 22 percent in Nevada to a decrease of 11 percent in West Virginia (National Center for Education Statistics,2010).

Although patterns of enrolment differ significantly among African countries, in some countries like South Africa, Namibia and Botswana dropout rates are low but enrolment is high in lower classes as compared to upper classes. However Statistics from Ghana show a strong gender imbalance (Lewin2009). Where girls‟ enrolment is constantly lower than boys while the dropout rates among girls is higher compared to that of the boys (Ghana NCWAD 1994). Whereas countries like Mali and Madagascar have worse cases. For instance in 2006 Mail had only 3 percent of the 15 to 19 year olds who were expected to survive to final year of primary school.

Whereas Kenya has high enrolment rates in the first year of primary cycle the enrolment rates drop significantly even to below 50 percent in subsequent cycles (MoEST, 2008). Frequent changes of ministers and formation of commissions of education by successive governments coupled with the politicization of education by political parties that emerged in the country‟s political scene since 1979 have brought about disparity in educational practices which has caused differential enrolment in sub Saharan Africa (Kraus & Keltner, 2008).

Primary education in Kenya has been characterized by high wastage in terms of enrolment, high dropout rates, repetition and poor transition from primary to secondary school. This scenario is attributed to high cost of primary education (Republic of Kenya, 2012). Since independence, the government has consistently pursued policies aimed at expanding and strengthening basic education programs, which include abolition of school, fees in standard one to four in 1974 and five to seven 1979. However a Presidential decree which led to the formation of Parents Teachers Association (PTA) charged with the task of raising development funds imposed building fees to be paid by every child according to (Bogonko, 1992). This was further strengthened by a cost sharing policy introduced in 1988, whereby the parents provided all the requirements needed while the government paid teachers‟ salaries. This overwhelmed parents with low income. The cost sharing system somewhat led to high wastage within the primary education cycle in terms of enrolment, high dropout, repetition, low completion and poor primary education to secondary transition rates as observed by Kimalu, (2001) and Bedi, (2002). Primary education school enrolment declined from 98% in 1987 to 90% 2002 in Kenya. The gross enrolment ratio for girls remained relatively lower than that for boys. In 2001, for example, the primary school GER was recorded at 90% and 91% for boys and girls respectively. This scenario was attributed to high cost of education, which had a negative impact on access, retention, equity and quality especially to low income earners (Abagi and Odipo, Republic of Kenya, 2001).

The FPE program in Kenya which was reintroduced in December 2002 was on the basis of thrust on equity and socio-economic agenda, especially aimed at narrowing the gaps of inequality in the country (Republic of Kenya, 2004). The premise of the FPE program was that the main barrier to schooling comes from income constraints and direct schooling costs. Before 2003, parents offset a significant proportion of operational and development costs averaging 35 percent of the total costs in primary schools (Republic of Kenya, 2003).

In the quest for education for all children of school age, the nation has evolved a series of socio- economic educational measures and policies such as Structural Adjustment Programs (SAP) austerity measures, Universal Primary Education (UPE) devaluation of the shilling and value added tax (VAT). These measures have not improved the social-economic and educational status of families in the country instead; they have rather increased their sufferings and widened the socio-economic gap among families (Olotu, 2004).

The educational and occupational factor of many pupils‟ families has been viewed as an influential determinant on pupils‟ enrolment and academic achievement. Research indicates that pupils who come from economically poor families are more likely not to enroll and also perform poorly in school than those from economically stable families (Broody and Dowker, 2006). A study conducted regarding parental education, peer and gender effects on achievement and enrolment of secondary schools in Botswana revealed that students from parents with high educational qualifications performed better and enrolled in large numbers in schools than those from parents with lower educational qualifications. All these imply that parental socio-economic background is a potent factor in enrolment and academic achievement of their children (Tella and Toyobo, 2007).

The selected Socio-Economic parental status that is education, income and occupation has been known to determine enrolment and academic achievement. Hoxby (2001) finds that family variables account for 90-93 percent of the variation in income, educational level and occupation. Currie and Thomas (1999) show that Social Economic Status (SES) and early child academic attainment and enrolment are positively and significantly related. A gap clearly exists between the enrolment and low SES and high SES pupils. This relationship, however, may not be constant over time. Though much has been achieved in the provision of education to the Kenyan child, the Government‟s attempt to turn around the education system to the needs of the country is complicated with many challenges (MoEST, 2009) though the gap has been narrowed; there have been regional disparities in the Gross Enrolment rates (MoEST, 2008). For instance, during the period 2003 to 2007 the total enrolment in public schools tremendously increased by 16.5 percent from 7,159,523 to 8,330,148 (TSC, EMIS and MoE, 2003-2007) while the government‟s target was 10 million....

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Item Type: Kenyan Topic  |  Size: 71 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.


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