All over the world education is considered to be a benchmark over which economic development and growth of a country depend upon. Due to the current educational demands, guidance and counselling is becoming an area of concern in primary schools in Kenya. Guidance and counselling helps an individual to understand him/herself and his/her environment so as to cope with his/her problems. Guidance and counselling helps pupils to understand themselves and their environment so as to cope with pupils‘ concerns. A considerable number of primary school children in Ainabkoi Division dropout of school before completing their primary school education system. Statistics from Ministry of Education (MoE) office in Ainabkoi indicate that 25% of the pupils drop out of school before completing their primary education. However, little has been known on the role of guidance and counselling in addressing school dropout. This study was to investigate teacher perceptions on the role of guidance and counselling in addressing school dropout in primary schools in Ainabkoi Division Uasin Gishu County, Kenya. The study was conducted in public primary schools in Ainabkoi Division, Uasin-Gishu County. The study adopted a descriptive survey research design. The target population of the study consisted of 38 head teachers and 320 teachers drawn from 38 primary schools in the Division. Stein‘s method by Stephan (1945) in Nassiuma (2000) was used to select the sample size. The study sampled 11 head teachers out of 38 head teachers and 167 teachers out of 320 teachers. This gave a total of 178 respondents. A questionnaire and an interview guide were utilized in collecting information from teachers and head teachers respectfully. Cronbach Alpha was used to estimate the reliability coefficient of the instruments. The tools were pilot tested to 38 respondents in Keiyo South Constituency. The questionnaire yielded a reliability coefficient of 0.786 which was considered adequate. Validity of instruments was established by seeking expert opinion from four psychologists and counsellors from the Department of Psychology, Counselling and Educational Foundations in Egerton University. Data collected was analyzed using descriptive statistics which included frequencies and percentages. Findings indicated that guidance and counselling helps identify potential dropouts and feelings of dropout. The teachers also agreed that guidance and counselling assist pupils with study skills help pupils in dealing with academic difficulties, help in reducing cases of delinquent behaviours and cases of truancy among pupils. The study concluded that guidance and counselling provided diagnosis of potential dropouts provided targeted interventions to potential dropouts and provided school wide interventions to potential dropouts. Therefore, this study recommended that teachers should ensure that provision of guidance and counselling identify maladjusted pupils. The study suggested a similar study to be carried out on teacher perceptions on the role of guidance and counselling in identifying maladjusted pupils in primary schools.

Background of the Study
Education is regarded as one of the most effective instruments for social development in the society. Formal education exposes people to social life in and outside the family; providing entry into other opportunities for example political offices and social fields (Galimaka, 2008). Globally, policy makers see schooling as an essential prerequisite for sustained economic growth and democratic participation (Boyden, 1991).According to the UN Convention on Child Rights of 1990 every child has the right to education that develops their personality, talents, mental and physical abilities to their fullest potential. In Kenya, education equips the Pupils with requisite knowledge, skills and attitudes to enable them manipulate the environment in which they live (Momanyi, 2009). Momanyi further observes that the government through the Ministry of Education (MoE) provides Free Primary Education (FPE) programme to improve access to education by children from all backgrounds, reduce drop-out rates and improve quality education.

Idowu (1986) defines counselling as a process through which an individual who needs help is assisted by a professionally prepared individual so as to make necessary adjustments to life and environment. Idowu also defines guidance as a process whereby individuals are helped to understand themselves in all situations, so that they can effectively utilize their potentialities or talents. It is a process whereby an individual is helped through a relationship with a professionally prepared person to voluntarily change behaviour, clarify attitudes and goals in order to solve problems. Guidance and counselling assists pupils to understand themselves and their social environment, cope with academic demands, as well as realize their full potential and interests (Mutie & Ndambuki, 1999).

In addition to basic roles of guidance and counselling today, schools need guidance programmes with definite plans that provide adequate time for counsellors to assist the growing numbers of pupils with special needs (Idowu, 1986). These are pupils who are abusing substances, teenage parents, and victims of abuse and neglect, the depressed, the suicidal, the educationally disadvantaged, the disabled, and the potential dropouts. Mason, Dyal and Meadows (1999) contend that these pupils need competent counsellors with caring attitudes and who allocate a specific amount of their time each day for responsive services. Mason et.al (1999), continue to indicate that school counsellors are often not able to plan and implement comprehensive developmental guidance programmes that provide pupils with the knowledge and skills they need to become well-adjusted, self-supporting citizens.

Studies by Rao (2002) have shown that pupils are confronted with problems that require guidance and counselling. Rao indicates the role of guidance and counselling as to help students clarify their goals, values, strengthen their interests and aspirations, appreciate their philosophies and cognitions, and adjust to the norms of the society. For many programmes to achieve their goals, their roles should be taken into account (Rao, 2002). According to Ponec and Brock (2000) the role of guidance and counselling is to assist pupils adjust in their transition from one level to the next. Ajowi and Simatwa (2010) points out that the role of guidance counselling is to promote and manage discipline, and retain children in schools. According to UNESCO (1997), the role of guidance and counselling is to motivate teachers, pupils and parents towards education of their pupils. Ajowi and Simatwa further state that heads and senior teachers should be trained to handle guidance and counselling. Bor et al., (2002) asserts that head teachers and teachers perceived guidance and counselling as an interactive process which is crucial for an effective guidance and counselling programme to be achieved.

It is important to note that the different perceptions regarding to the role of guidance and counselling differ from one stakeholder to another, for example pupils, teachers, school administrators, parents and counsellors (Akos, 2004). Teachers perceive that the role of guidance and counselling is to reduce if not completely eliminate pupils‘ undesirable behaviours, help improve classroom climate, reduce interpersonal tensions among pupils and promote. School administrators perceive guidance and counselling as a service that may help in efficient in efficient functioning of the school by reducing conflicts and friction among the various personnel, and also remove inefficient learning practices among the pupils (Egbuchu, 2002).

A study carried out by Alexander, Entwisle and Horsey (2001) shows that from early1960s into the 21st century, individuals drop-out of school prior to primary or secondary school completion in the world. School dropout in the world is an issue that educationists, education researchers and policy makers are concerned with (Alexander et al., 2001).An estimated 1.3 million American high school students drop out of school every year (Schargel & Smink, 2001). Schargel and Smink further point out that dropping out of school in America is considered by the government as a signal that a young person has not succeeded in school and may not succeed in adult life.

Enrolment in basic education worldwide has increased and there has been a drop in the number of out-of-school children as well (UNESCO, 2011). The total number of school-age children not in primary or secondary school was estimated to have fallen by 21% between 2007 and 2010 compared to only 5% between 1997 and 2002. In spite of these promising trends, sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 45% of all out-of-school children (over 72 million globally in 2005) (UNESCO, 2007).

Increased dropout seems to be dominant at compulsory education levels in primary schools in Tanzania (UNESCO, 2006). Some of the children have received very little education such that after years out of school, they tend to relapse to illiteracy. Consequently, increased school dropout contributes to increasing illiteracy amongst the adult population. UNESCO (2006) observes that poverty is the most common factor affecting retention. UNESCO further points out that unless measures to alleviate poverty are taken it will be very difficult to improve retention. Early marriages and pregnancies are significant factors affecting school enrolment as well as drop outs in schools (UNICEF, 2003). UNICEF (2003) adds that these factors are very sensitive as they are closely related to culture and religion and innovative approach need to be pursued to overcome these factors without jeopardizing their cultural and religious importance.

School drop-out in Kenya is an issue of concern. Children dropout of school before completing primary or secondary school education system due to school factors or out of school factors such as truancy, teenage pregnancies, drug abuse and early marriages among others (Were, 2007). According to Ministry of Education (2011), 3 out of 10 pupils in Kenya‘s primary schools drop out before completing their primary education. An investigation conducted by Nation‘s NewsPlex project and Institute of Economic Affairs in 2015 reported that out of 1,311,700 children who started standard one in 2003, 46,300 pupils dropped out of school in the transition from class 6 and 7 ( Sigei, 2015). In Uasin Gishu

District Education Office statistics show that drop out cases are increasing among primary schools in the whole county and it stands at 35%. Ainabkoi division constitutes the highest percentage which is 25%. In Ainabkoi Division, the Divisional Education office documents that over 300 pupils have dropped out of school every year between 2010 and 2013 as indicated in the Table 1....

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Item Type: Kenyan Topic  |  Size: 73 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
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