Social Cultural Factors Influencing Pupils’ Participation in Primary Education in Ololulunga Division, Narok County Kenya

Agnes Chepkemoi Busienei, Dorcah Asiago, Jeremiah M. Kalai


Access to primary education is crucial as noted by World Bank reports that demonstrate that primary education enhances citizen partition in governance, development activities, creates health awareness and makes citizens less gullible, more receptive to change than the case would be with a populace that has no access   to education. Reports from studies and government annual education reports have noted discrepancies in access to education between high economic potential areas and low economic potential areas. Participation rates have been an issue of concern to most educational stakeholders in Kenya over the past years. This is manifested by lower rates of completion. This study sought to establish the influence of socio-cultural factors (female genital mutilation; moranism), economic factors (family incomes-poverty levels and child labour) and teenage pregnancies on pupils’ participation in public primary schools as perceived by head teachers, members of school management committees and class right pupils in Ololulunga Division, Narok County, Kenya. The study adopted descriptive survey design whose intent is to obtain pertinent and precise data on status of the phenomena. The study had a target population of 64 public primary schools translating to 64 head teachers, 64 members of school management committees and 1260 standard eight pupils spanning over three educational zones; namely Ololunga, Lemek and Melelo zones. The sample size consisted of 12 head teachers, 12 members of School Management Committees and 252 class eight pupils. Questionnaires were used to obtain data from the pupils while interview guides were administered to the head teachers and members of school Management committees (SMC). Data was analysed by use frequencies and percentages captured through the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Female genital mutilation and the associated rites of passage were rated as the greatest impediment to girl-child participation in primary education by 33.3 percent of the respondents, while teenage pregnancies were the second challenge. The rite of passage of circumcision and being a moran (community defender) was equally a challenge for boy child participation in education. Poverty and employment (child labour) were the least rated impediments to pupils’ participation in primary education. The study concluded that socio-cultural factors had a negative influence on pupils’ participation than the economic factors

Keywords: socio-cultural factors, pupil participation, rites of passage (365 words)

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