THE ROLE OF THE HEAD TEACHER IN CURBING DROP OUTS IN PUBLIC PRIMARY SCHOOLS IN KIKUYU DIVISION, KIAMBU, COUNTY, KENYA

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The purpose of the study was to investigate the role of the head teacher in curbing pupil’s dropout in Kikuyu Division, Kikuyu District. The literature review considered existing literature on head teachers role and dropout, school environment, learning resources and its influence on dropout, teacher shortage and dropout, influence of discipline on dropout and parental involvement in education dropout. Five research objectives were formulated to guide the study. The study adopted descriptive survey method. The sample comprised of 17 teachers and 66 teachers. Data was gathered by use of questionnaires for the teachers and the headteachers while data were analysed qualitatively and quantitatively. The study revealed that there were cases of drop out among pupils in Kikuyu division. Findings also indicated that provision of teaching and learning resources influenced curbing dropout in schools. Findings further indicated that discipline was a factor in dropping out in public primary schools. Findings also revealed that parental involvement by headteachers in the school curbed discipline. The study concluded that there were cases of drop out among pupils in Kikuyu division. The study also concluded that provision of teaching and learning resources influenced curbing dropout in schools. The study also concluded that there were measures that the headteachers took to curb the indiscipline in order to prevent drop out. These included inviting parents to school to explain the cause of absenteeism, referring pupils to guidance and counseling to address the issue of drugs. The study further concluded that parental involvement by headteachers in the school curbed discipline. For example headteachers invited parents to discuss school matters of their children, they reminded parents to pay levies, they urged parents to encourage their children to study, help them to do homework, express concern when they got poor marks and coming to school to discuss academic matters. Based on the findings it was recommended that schools should introduce guidance and counseling, to alleviate the problem of discipline. To alleviate the cause of drop out as a result of parental negligence, the study recommended that parents should be empowered to supper their children education. It was also recommended pupils who dropout should be assisted to polytechnics so that they are not wasted; and lastly that pupils should be helped to understand the importance of education and poor pupils should be helped with school fees which has been seen as a major cause of school dropout in Kikuyu division. Taking the limitations and delimitations of the study, it was suggested that a study on assessment of the implications of current policies on drop out in primary schools should be conducted. A study on contribution of other stakeholders such as school committee in curbing drop out in schools and a study on effect of teacher demographics on drop out in primary schools should be conducted.

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