AN ANALYSIS OF SELECTED STUDENT MANAGEMENT PRACTICES ON RETENTION IN SECONDARY EDUCATION IN KENYA
ONGIGE, LAMECH SIKO
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One of the education policies of the government of Kenya according to the Basic Education act of 2013 is the provision of free and compulsory basic education with the anticipated target of achieving universal secondary education. The policy of 100% transition rate from primary to secondary education was instituted to facilitate this target. However, as transition rates keep improving, student retention has remained low in Public Secondary Schools in Kisii County. Failure to retain students in schools implies failure of the government in achieving universal secondary education besides being considered as a waste of potential human, time and financial resources. The purpose of the study was to do an analysis of Selected Student Management Practices on Retention in Secondary Education in Kisii County. The objectives of the study were to investigate the relationship between student motivation, safety, feeding, instruction and discipline practices and retention of Students in Public Secondary Schools in Kisii County. The study was guided by Vroom’s expectancy and McGregor’s X and Y theories. A conceptual framework involving the variables under investigation was drawn. Correlational research design was used in this study. A sample of 35 Public Secondary Schools was selected for the study using Multi-stage sampling technique. The study sample was 525 respondents comprised of 420 students, 35 Deputy Principals, 35 Principals and 35 Head Cooks. Questionnaires, interview schedules and document analysis were used in data collection. Experts in the area under study did validation of the instruments. A pilot test of the instruments was conducted in Schools in Nyamira County. Reliability of the instruments was tested using split-half technique and Spearman-Brown prophecy formula. A coefficient of 0.8 in both the students’ and Deputy Principals’ questionnaires was obtained. Ethical considerations were employed throughout the study. Quantitative data was analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Qualitative data was analysed thematically. The statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) version 25.0 was used to analyse the data. The study findings showed that there was a strong and positive correlation between student motivation practices (r=.717), safety practices (r=.689), feeding practices (r=.684), instruction practices (r=.844), discipline practices (r=.778) and student retention in public secondary schools in Kisii County. The correlation was statistically significant at 0.05 alpha level. Regression analysis showed that 63.7% of variations in the student retention were predictable from student motivation, safety, instructional and discipline practices. Therefore, it was concluded that, in order to improve student retention rates, school administrators should practice good student motivation, safety, instructional and discipline practices. This study was significant because its findings provided school administrators and education policy makers with knowledge on the best student management practices that could improve student retention to the anticipated target of 100%. The recommendation of the study was that; the Government should strengthen student motivation and safety practices, closely monitor curriculum delivery in schools and provide alternative ways of handling student discipline issues in schools.