Capacity Expansion of Educational Infrastructure and Students’ Participation In Siaya County, Kenya
Capacity Expansion of Educational Infrastructure and Students’ Participation In Siaya County, Kenya
Martin O Onyango1, Julius K Maiyo2and Juda Ndiku3
The purpose of this study was to establish how capacity expansion of education facilities has influenced students’ participation in public secondary schools. The researcher used mixed methods research design where both qualitative and quantitative data was collected. The target population was 21,017 comprised of 276 school principals, 6 Sub County Directors of Education and 20,735 Form IV students with a sample size of 2,160. The researcher adopted stratified simple random sampling technique to gather data from respondents. Data collection instruments were questionnaires, interview schedules and document analysis. Both descriptive and inferential data analysis methods were used in analysing data. The study findings established that capacity expansion of education facilities, had a significant influence on students’ participation on public secondary schools. It was recommended that the government should encourage partnership in school infrastructure development.
Key Words: Capacity Expansion, Educational Infrastructure, Students’ Participation
According to UNESCO (2008) worldwide survey report on enrolment in education notes that access rates in secondary education had significantly increased in recent past. For instance by 2005 there were over 512 million students enrolled in secondary education worldwide. The high demand was attributed to increasing youth population. To cope with this countries developed several policies which included; abolition of school fees, extension of schooling period and curricular reforms to include vocational content and immediately after the 2nd World War most of the countries implemented the reforms (Obua, 2011). Extension of schooling was to enable education system introduce labour related subjects so as to equip youth with skills relevant to labour market. It was also intended to easy pressure on secondary education.
Implementation of these reforms saw Germany transform its polies in education to incorporate changes which enabled it to address challenges and necessities after the union. It reorganized its education system to provide education along three main areas mainly general schooling or lower secondary education for age between 5 to 9 and age 10 to 16 years. General education was intended to prepare the youth for upper secondary and vocational apprenticeship. In upper secondary education curriculum offered combination of general education, vocational training and preparation for university entrance qualifications (OECD, 2014).
Similarly, in China created changes in its education system and offers 9 years of compulsory education on 6-3-3 system and compulsory covers 9 years after which students may choose to enroll for senior secondary education which runs for 3 years. Curriculum offered in lower secondary is general education with technical, vocational and craft in senior secondary, with over14.9 million students in both junior secondary education and senior vocational education and secondary education GER for secondary education rising from 64% in 2006 to 94% during 2014 -2014/16 period (UNESCO, 2016).
According to World Bank (2012) observed that in Sub Saharan Africa most countries had made basic education to be part of lower secondary or basic education. This was intended to ease pressure on secondary education from high number of pupils completing primary education. Following that countries like Botswana, Cape Verde Mauritius and South Africa managed to attain universal GER targets. On the same strength, countries like Congo and Rwanda managed to attain GER of 52% and 29% in lower secondary with completion rates of 44% and 22% respectively. Similarly in upper secondary education managed GER of 21% and 17% but only NER 19% and 13% of the students managed to complete. Global statistics show that there are challenges in internal schooling systems resulting into wastage.
Education is expected to equip individuals with knowledge and skills which are critical in securing of employment, increasing lifetime earnings, earning promotion at place of work and being good citizens (Schultz, 1969; Todaro, 1969; Woodhall, 2004). In that view education is more of an economic activity than social because it prepares the youth for the world of work and future responsibilities. This means that investment in education is important because of the expected returns to both the society and individuals. The citizens are able to use acquired knowledge and skills to actively participate in economic activities and generate income for their livelihood and self-actualization. Educational returns can be classified into two, namely direct and indirect (Psacharopoulos & Patrinos, 2019). The direct returns include; increased productivity and enhanced innovative skills of workers. Education therefore is a principal means of ensuring that there is continuous supply of skilled human resource for development. The knowledge acquired should be labour market relevant to make them compete globally. Indirect returns include; reduced population growth in case of developed countries, crime reduction in the society, improved health standards, higher levels of environmental conservation and enhanced social cohesion among others (Kiumi & Chiuri, 2005; OECD, 2012). The human resource would participate in taking care of their immediate environment by planting trees and other environmental friendly activities.
According to Ministry of Education (2018) inconsistency in the number of public primary (40,775) and secondary schools (9,440) was the main reason for most of the KCPE candidates transitioning from primary to secondary fail to enrol for secondary education was due to limited number of secondary schools. For instance, in a period of six years a total of 1,458,402 pupils failed to secure space in public secondary schools countrywide. This translates to 29.7% dropout and a waste investment already made (RoK, 2015). The scenario paints a worrying trend and justifies the need for expansion of the existing schools
On average the Kenya government spends between 5% and 7% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita on education and training. This excludes contributions from the households. The expenditure is higher than any other social sector, yet over 75% of this budget is spent on teachers’ salaries with less regard to development and maintenance of school physical infrastructure (MOE, 2017; UNESCO, 2013). Given that over 75% of the money allocated to Ministry of Education goes to recurrent expenditure it implies that very limited resources are left for capital development. As such schools cannot develop since government budget is already overstretched. To arrest this trend the government through Education and Training Sector Plan 2013 -2017, rehabilitated a total of 560 secondary schools, constructed extra classrooms in secondary schools to ensure that each school was at least three streamed, constructed 600 new secondary schools, rehabilitated 20 special schools and completed 312 staled Economic Stimulus Projects(ESP) and further gave out Ksh.2.4 billion to 103 National schools and 540 extra county schools for expansion of tuition and boarding facilities day wing classes included. This was intended to create 30,000 additional spaces for form one admissions during 2019 with a target of achieving 100% transition rate from primary to secondary (Matiang’i, 2018). In Siaya County a total of 38 schools were expanded at a cost of Ksh38 million. The schools included 2 national schools, 24 extra county 12 county schools.
Nationally data on Standard 8 enrolment shows a very impressive upward trend with the figures increasing every year , for example, the figures rose from746, 080 in 2010 to 776,214 pupils in 2011 and from 839,759 pupils in 2013 to 880,486 pupils in 2014 and finally to 927,789 pupils in 2015 respectively (RoK,2015). Indicators show potential of higher students’ participation and expected increased financial implications. A similar scenario is noted in Siaya County. The County primary Gross Enrolment Rate (GER) and Net Enrolment Rate (NER) rose from 50% to 75% and 26.1 % to 62.6% respectively, absolute numbers being 34,807 boys and 29,449 girls in year 2014. But the trend changes at secondary school level since the number admitted in Form One four years ago was not equivalent to the number of students registered for Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE). The data held at the Ministry of Education Headquarters reveals a big discrepancy given that the government has subsidized secondary education since 2008. Table 1.1 shows the scenario in Siaya County.
Table 1. 1: Form One and Form Four Enrolment in Siaya County 2013- 2018
|Period||Form One Selection||KCSE Candidates||Retention Rates|
|2013 – 2016||22,872||14,763||64.5%|
|2014 – 2017||23,556||15,264||64.8%|
Source: Ministry of Education, County Director’s Office, Siaya 2019
It is on the strength of this that the present study was set to determine influence of capacity expansion of educational facilities on student’s participation in secondary education in Siaya County. In Thailand the government provides private schools with educational facilities, pay teachers’ salary and remuneration other educational personnel. The schools also receive grants, tax exemption for school equipment and materials. The sum of grants disbursed to private schools does not exceed government allocation to public schools to ensure proper allocation (World Bank, 2010). Provision of physical facilities to private schools promoted development of infrastructure in all schools. In Kenya FDSE policy on infrastructure requires schools to apply for funding from ministry headquarter since the government had taken the responsibility of development from parents and schools despite scarcity of resources in the government kit. This has slowed down infrastructure development in schools and in most of the schools facilities are overstretched.
A survey on participation of students in secondary education in Asia-Pacific countries noted that access rates in secondary education had significantly risen. For instance in 2005 there were 512 million students enrolled in secondary schools with GER having risen at an average of 52% in 1991, by 60% in 1999 and 66% in 2005 respectively, while NER increasing from 53% in 1999 to 59% in 2005 (World Bank 2010). The increase was attributed to additional funding by the governments and expansion of educational facilities.
Todaro (1985) says that expansion of educational opportunities promotes the rate of Gross Net Product (GNP) as evidenced in several studies on economic development in developed countries. These findings motivated developing countries to put in place policies that accelerated the development of human resources to steer their economies Kenya included. Evidence showed that by investing in human capital there would be more economic returns due to high expenditure being incurred by the states (Psachropoulus 1994; World Bank, 2010).
While in Sub-Saharan Africa EFA Global Monitoring Report (GMR, 2015) by UNESCO 2004 states that in Sub-Saharan Africa had about 31 million students in secondary education across the region with gross enrolment rate of 73% in 2008. Expansion of education required considerable financial resources in addition to capacity expansion of facilities to absorb the rising population and that calls for additional facilities and financial resources.
United Nations Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF, 2013)reported that in Ghana World Bank converted about 8,000 old structures that were initially used as Mosques and Public Halls into schools. The project targeted marginalized communities and also aimed at reducing distance students walked to reach schools. The findings revealed that conversion of these facilities to schools improved students’ enrollment, transition and retention rates. Renovation of old structures was cost effective given that structures were already in place. This therefore shows that availability of education facilities in an area has influence of school enrollment and students’ participation.
In Mozambique a research by Neadeau (2014)showed that infrastructural projects such as construction of roads and new schools had created much impact on education indicators such as accessibility and retention in that the number of schools in both primary and secondary tripled resulting into improved student enrolment rates (ibid). Development of roads infrastructure in rural areas had opened-up the areas and made it easy for the students to access schools. Road infrastructure would improve communication to school especially during the rainy seasons.
In Senegal only about 25% of the students who completed primary education transited to secondary. This was due to inadequate number of schools. Likewise, schools were sparsely distributed which made it difficult for students to access schools in the regions (Naudeau, 2014). Harsh terrain affect school attendance in that communication to and from school becomes difficult given that the roads are impassible during the rainy seasons. For instance, in Afghanistan the construction of village-based community schools increased school enrolment by 42 percent in sampled villages (Burde & Linden, 2012).
This was due to the short distance students had to walk and reach schools on time. In Kenya, capacity expansion is a move to increase students’ enrolment by implementing the policy options as stipulated in Sessional Paper No.1 of 2005. The policy recommended a number of options which included; expansion of class sizes from 40 students to 45, increasing number of streams from one to three, starting of Day Wing in National and Extra-County schools, renovation of existing school infrastructure and construction of new schools (MOE, 2005;MOE, 2017). This was to expand sitting capacity in the existing public secondary schools to enable the subsector admit the increasing number of students transitioning from primary to secondary education. The policy resulted in a number of new schools being constructed and existing schools expanding their facilities in order to cope with increasing enrolment following abolition of fees at primary school level.
The number of secondary schools increased from approximately from 5000 in 2008 to 7,268 schools in 2010 and to 7,297 in 2011 and finally to 8,297 to 2015 respectively. Students’ enrolment equally increased from 1.3 million in 2008 to 2.7 million in 2015, with GER increasing from 42.5% in 2008 to 63.3% within the same period (RoK, 2018).Despite increase in the number of secondary schools the number did not matched that of primary schools in the country and that resulted in some of the KCPE candidates missing space in the existing secondary schools. This was attributed to limited number of secondary schools compared to the number of primary schools in the country.
Ngware, Ciera, Musyoka&Oketch (2013) observes that over enrolment in schools strains tuition, boarding and sanitation facilities which makes education institutions to be health hazards for contiguous diseases which eventually affects enrolment and students’ participation. A study by Barazaet al.., (2014) in secondary schools in Busia County established that availability of school infrastructure was critical in determining access to subsidized secondary education since the availability of the facilities showed amount of space available for new admissions.
The study further observed that classrooms that were initially earmarked to accommodate 40 students had over 60 students following the introduction of subsidized secondary education (ibid). The congestion was due to the fact that the schools had not expanded facilities at the same rate as primary school enrollment was expanding following introduction of FPE and there were no adequate prior preparations.
Kavindu (2013) notes that schools’ infrastructure can influence students’ learning and therefore must be well lit, adequately ventilated to facilitate circulation of fresh air with a view to making students remain alert. Conditions prevailing in schools such as classrooms, dormitories and other areas influence students’ participation in education.
Report by Ouko (2019) on students’ enrolment in the 73 newly created national schools showed that most of the schools did not have sufficient physical infrastructure to accommodate rising student population transitioning from primary to secondary education. The report notes that the schools were experiencing challenges of inadequate infrastructure to accommodate the numbers; it also said that the schools had continued to admit more students despite lack of facilities. This has led to serious congestion.
The researcher used mixed methods research design where both qualitative and quantitative data was collected. The target population was 21,017 comprised of 276 school principals, 6 Sub County Directors of Education and 20,735 Form IV students with a sample size of 21,017.
The researcher adopted stratified and simple random sampling technique to get respondents. Data collection instruments were questionnaires, interview schedules and document analysis. Both descriptive and inferential data analysis methods were used in analyzing data. Document analysis and interviews were used to confirm responses by school principals and findings were in agreement
6.4 Findings and Discussions
From the principals’ questionnaire of which findings are given in table 2.1, indicates the descriptive statistics for capacity expansion of education facilities.
Table 2.1: Descriptive Statistics for Capacity Expansion of Education Facilities
|Accommodation space is adequate to accommodate the increasing enrolment rate||40||48.2||5||6||13||15.7||25||30.1|
The school has an effective Day wing to accommodate more students enrolling for secondary education
Repair and maintenance of school facilities is always in progress and effective to make the facilities secure in order to meet the Ministry of Education Safety Standards.
The school is in the process of opening up additional stream (s) to enhance access and retention
Table 2.1reveals majority (54.2%) of the school principals strongly disagreed with the view that space available in the schools was not adequate to accommodate the increasing student enrolment rate, while 38 (45.8%) agreed. The finding established that majority of the schools (54.2%) in Siaya County did not have adequate physical facilities and therefore could not admit many students. This reveals that government funding was not adequate to finance development in all public schools. Further the finding identifies some inadequacies in the FDSE policy which compels school principals to apply for approval from the Cabinet Secretary (CS) before carrying out major development in the school. This inhibits development as it locks out goodwill gestures from stakeholders in education who may be willing to assist.
The findings were in agreement with Ouko (2019) who reported on condition of physical facilities in the newly created national schools were dilapidated and congested. Ouko (Ibid) attributed that to lack of development or inadequate funding. The findings point to a study in Rwanda by ministry of education (MOE, 2009) where the government involved communities in making of bricks in construction of schools to expand school enrolment.
Majority 68(82%) of the respondents strongly disagreed that the schools did not have effective day wing to accommodate more students enrolling for secondary education and only 15(18%) agreed. This finding reveals that majority of the schools were not benefited from government infrastructure funding to expand their facilities and therefore FDSE funding is inadequate to finance development in public schools. The findings were confirmed by both SCDEs who acknowledged that infrastructure funding to schools was inadequate and that the disbursement was skewed towards established national, extra-county and some county schools but not sub county schools.
Table 2.1 indicates that 67(80.7%) of the respondents strongly disagreed that repair and maintenance of school facilities was always in progress and effective to make the facilities secure in order to meet the ministry of education safety standards, while, 16(19.3%) agreed. The findings show that majority67(80.7%) of the schools did not regularly maintain the facilities.
In table 2.1, 72(86.7%) of the respondents strongly disagreed that the schools were not in the process of opening up additional streams to enhance access and retention in the schools, and 11(13.3%) of the respondents agreed. This implies that the Siaya County schools could not enroll most of standard 8 pupils who are transiting to secondary education. This can be attributed to the weaknesses in the policy requiring schools to apply for authority to finance before undertaking any physical development from the Cabinet Secretary Ministry of education. However, the policy failed take into consideration the ability of the government to finance infrastructure development in all public secondary schools in the country given high government expenditure. According to economic survey report 2017/18 government expenditure on education excluding the share by households is between 5% and 7% of the GDP and this is higher than any other social sector expenditure and over 85% of the MOE recurrent budget goes to payment of teachers’ salaries and administration costs leaving few resources for development (MOE, 2017). From the findings, capacity expansion of education facilities had a significantly strong positive relationship with Students’ Participation in Public Secondary Schools in Siaya County as shown in table 4.11.
Factor Analysis for Capacity Expansion of Education Facilities
To determine construct validity, Principle Component Analysis was applied. Factor loadings and communalities based on a principal components analysis with Varimax rotation for 4 items was conducted to provide best-defined factor structure for the Students’ Participation in Public Secondary Schools construct. The findings are given in table 2.2.
Table 2.2: Factor loadings and communalities based on a principal components analysis with Varimax rotation
|Accommodation space is adequate enough to accommodate the increasing enrolment rate||.821||.55|
The school has an effective Day wing to accommodate more students enrolling for secondary education
Repair and maintenance of school facilities is always in progress and effective to make the facilities secure in order to meet the Ministry of Education safety standards.
The school is in the progress of opening up additional stream (s) to enhance access and retention
The communalities were all above 0.3 threshold (Frydenberg, 1993); this confirmed that each item shared some common variance with other items on the, four-point Likert scale that was used in the questionnaire.
All the four items in this analysis had primary loadings over .5 thresholds (Frydenberg, 1993). The data set was acceptable for further analysis.
Correlation between Capacity Expansion of Education Facilities and Students’ Participation in Siaya County
Pearson Moment Correlation coefficient was used to determine the strength and direction of the relationship between capacity expansion of education facilities and students’ participation in public secondary schools. The findings are as shown in Table 2.3.
Table 2.3: Correlation between Capacity Expansion of Education Facilities and Students’ Participation in Siaya County
It’s evident from the findings in table 2.2 that capacity expansion of education facilities had a significantly strong positive relationship with the students’ participation in public secondary schools (R = 0.521, p = 0.000). Lyndsay (2009) says that a coefficient between +1.0 and +0.5 or -1.0 and -0.5 indicates a strong relationship. It can therefore state that capacity expansion of education facilities had a significantly strong positive relationship with Students’ Participation in Public Secondary Schools.
The study adopted Simple Linear Regression Model to determine how capacity expansion of education facilities influenced students’ participation in public secondary schools. The model sought to test the following null hypothesis: The findings are given in table 2.4.
H01: Capacity expansion of education facilities has no significant influence on students’ participation in public secondary schools in Siaya County.
Table 2.4: Simple linear regression between Capacity expansion of education facilities and students’ participation in Siaya County
From the ANOVA results shown in table 2.4, it is evident that the Simple Linear Regression model well fitted the dataset [F (1, 81) = 30.228, P = 0.000< 0.05]. Note that the model (Capacity expansion of education facilities) explained 26.3% of the variation in the students’ participation in public secondary schools in Siaya County (Adjusted R Square = 0.263).
The results of coefficients in Table 4.12 show that capacity expansion had a statistically significant contribution in prediction of the students’ participation in public secondary schools in Siaya County, (B = 0.577, t = 5.498, p=0.005<0.05); thus we reject the null hypothesis and conclude that capacity expansion of education facilities has a significant influence on students’ participation in public secondary schools in Siaya County.
Capacity expansion had a positive standardized beta coefficient = 0.521 in the coefficients results of table 2.4; an indication that a unit change in the capacity expansion is likely to result in an improvement in the students’ participation in public secondary schools in Siaya County by 52.1%.
The Simple Linear Regression model to predict students’ participation in public secondary schools in Siaya County using Capacity expansion of education facilities was as follows:
Students’ Participation = 1.435 + 0.577 Capacity Expansion
The findings therefore indicate that inadequate capacity expansion of education facilities in most of the schools has significantly contributed by hindering students from enrolling to secondary school education due to inadequate resources such as accommodation. The findings confirm the assertion of the Taskforce report (2014) which alluded that there were fewer spaces in the existing secondary schools.
The initiative of FDSE was to ensure that every child had access to basic education by reducing the financial burden on parents through providing financial assistance through FDSE programme. Low access was said to be due to inadequate number of secondary schools (9,440) compared to (31,333) public primary school. Within the schools also; the places available were not adequate to match demand. These inadequacies were more pressing in national, extra-county and county schools as they are viewed as good or performing schools (MOE, 2017).
Document perused at the SCDE offices included; disbursement schedules and correspondences which revealed that most of the schools had complied and provided SCDEs with copies of acknowledgement letters to MOE headquarters, lists of schools and had signed disbursement schedules. Further, the findings revealed that the majority of the schools in Siaya County had not benefited from FDSE funding and were ill equipped in terms of facilities. This can be attributed to lack of financial support and participation by other stakeholders in education, since funding majorly targeted established schools such as national, extra-county and county schools more than Sub-County schools which are more pressed for infrastructural development due to financial constraints. One of them said that;
“The Ministry had sent infrastructure funds to 2 National and 13 Extra County schools in the County for construction of additional classrooms, dormitories, laboratories, dinning and assembly halls in anticipation to attaining a 100% transition of the KCPE candidates. This was also to ease congestion in these schools’’
These findings concur with, study findings in Senegal by Petrosinoet al (2012) on secondary school enrolment who asserted that Senegal had few schools that only about 25% of primary school candidates could transit for secondary education. Secondly, schools were unevenly distributed in some of the regions making them inaccessible. This scenario matches situation in Siaya County where most schools are 5 kilometres far apart (Siaya CIDP, 2013-2017). Low number of schools was a challenge in that a large percentage of primary school graduates were not able to access secondary education due to lack of space to absorb the large numbers from the primary sector. Such situations in most cases resulted to school dropout, reduced completion and participation rates. This study therefore proposed development of proactive policies that will influence infrastructure funding and hence increased student’s participation.
The rationale for starting day wing was to make immediate school community to benefit from Form 1 admission by gaining access to National, Extra County and County Schools (MOE, 2017). However, the introduction of day wing streams in National boarding schools is a new phenomenal and has been met with resistance from school principals who are apprehensive that this would lead to indiscipline in boarding schools. The move contradicted the rationale on the establishment of National Schools which was to promote national unity philosophy given the national selection policy. The study therefore brings out an important idea on transformative whereby the local communities are included in the management of national schools through selection and other related activities.
Repair and maintenance of school facilities in most schools was not always in progress and effective to make the facilities secure in order to meet the Ministry of Education Safety Standards. The findings concur with the findings of studies by Bakari, (2014) & Fisher, (2006) who argued that students’ achievement improved with improvement of schools’ buildings’ conditions such as lighting, quality of air and temperatures. These findings highlight importance of compliance to by-laws on Health and Safety Standards of buildings in educational institutions which require experienced and competent head teachers to enforce. The results revealed that 67(80.7 %) disagreed that schools had failed to implement the policy guidelines.
Most schools were not in process of opening up additional streams to enhance access and retention. This implied that schools were not expanding facilities and therefore some of the schools were extremely congested due to high demand for admission.
6.5 Conclusions and recommendations
It is important to conclude that capacity expansion of education facilities has a positive influence on the students’ participation in public secondary schools in Siaya County. The findings showed that FDSE funds have been used to expand school facilities, opening up of new schools to maintain school facilities and to create additional stream (s) in the schools. This has contributed significantly in improving primary to secondary transition rate as there is increased space and facilities to accommodate more students enrolling for secondary education; even though the capacity seem to be inadequate to realize 100% transition rate target set by the government of Kenya.
Policy should be developed to guide infrastructural development in schools
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Martin O Onyango1,
Julius K Maiyo2 and