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Factors that Contribute to School Dropout in Kenya


Date Posted: 6/5/2019 12:00:46 AM

Posted By: Estrellah W  Membership Level: Bronze  Total Points: -43

Factors that Contribute to School Dropout in Kenya

At primary school level, promotion from class one all the way to class eight (and now to form four) is supposed to be automatic especially with the introduction of free primary and subsidized secondary education. On the contrary, a great deal of wastage occurs in terms of school dropout and repetition. In Kenya the overall wastage rate ranges from 30% to 47%. Below are some of the factors contributing to school dropout in Kenya.

a) Poverty
Approximately 31.7% of all children under the age of 15 years live in urban areas and 50% of these are considered to be living in conditions of extreme poverty. Children are forced to drop out of school to help their poverty plagued families while some become destitute street children. Lack of parental economic stability have made some children to absent themselves from school to search for food. Some of the children offer their labour for sale in coffee and tea picking farms, working in quarries, sand harvesting, hawking and herding.

b) Cultural Influences
Cultural practices such as circumcision rites, early marriages and moranism contribute largely to school dropout in Kenya. However, there are more participants from low social economic status families than from high social economic status families. For example, among the Bukusu community, learners tend to drop out of school at a higher rate during the circumcision period that during any other season. Among the Maasai and Samburu communities, seclusion during moranism take a long time and usually result to school dropout. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) has been found to be a contributing factor to school dropout among females as many girls get married after the ceremony.

c) Socialization
Socialization in some communities has put emphasis on various aspects other than school work. For example, livestock among the Maasai, miraa among the

people of Igembe and athletics among the Kalenjin. In some communities, marriage and procreation with the aspect of extending the community lineage is more valued more than education. This contributes to many youths dropping out of school.

d) Insecurity
Insecurity has greatly contributed to school dropout especially in crime prone areas. It affects children’s education as some pupils are scared to go to school and eventually opt to drop out of school. Areas prone to tribal or ethnic activities as well as terrorism often witness regular displacement of families from certain areas. This results to children dropping out of school. For example, teachers in Mandera, Wajir and Garissa are displaced by insecurity as a result of terrorism in these areas. In Elgeiyo Marakwet and Pokot areas, cattle rustling has resulted to pupils and teachers avoiding school and in the long run pupils drop out of school.

e) Nomadic way of life
Nomadic way of life has greatly contributed to school dropout in Northern Kenya. The value for cattle results to families shifting from place to place in search of pasture and water. Some of these areas have neither schools nor teachers. This has resulted to children dropping out of the school system.

f) Lack of parental reinforcement
Parents’ view on education and the extent to which they sacrifice in order to ensure their children get quality education play a major role in motivating the children to stay in school. The higher the social economic status of the family, the more it motivates the children to learn and the less it encounters school dropout.

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