Causes of pupil drop out in primary schools in Uganda


Master's Thesis, 2018
51 Pages, Grade: 3

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Inhalt

ABSTRACT

CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION.
Background to the study
Statement of the problem.
Purpose of the study
Objectives of the Study.
Research questions.
The scope of the study.
Significance of the study.
Conceptual framework

CHAPTER II LITERATURE REVIEW
Introduction.
Causes of pupil dropout from primary school.
What factors are gender related?
Which level of primary school is dropout highest?
Ratios of pupil dropout of males to females.
Rate of pupil dropout from primary school.
Summary

CHAPTER III METHODOLOGY.
Research design.
Instruments
Area of Study.
Sampling.
Procedure of data collection.
Data analysis:
Linking Research questions to methods.
Validity.
Reliability

CHAPTER IV
PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION OF FINDINGS
Introduction
Presentation

CHAPTER V
DISCUSSION, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS.
Introduction.
Discussion
A summary of the findings.
Conclusion:
Recommendations:
REFERENCES:

Appendix
APPENDIX IQUESTIONNAIRE FOR HEADTEACHERS.
APPENDIXINTERVIEW GUIDE FOR PARENTS.
APPENDIXINTERVIEW GUIDE FOR TEACHERS
APPENDIXINTERVIEW GUIDE FOR PUPILS
APPENDIXDOCUMENT ANALYSIS GUIDE

ABSTRACT

This study explored the causes of pupil dropout from primary school in Busulani sub county Budadiri East Sironko District. It sought to find out the rates of dropouts, which level of primary school was dropout highest, which causes affected which sex, and the ratios of male dropout to female dropouts.

Methods of data collection were questionnaires, interviews and analysis of class registers and statistical returns to Ministry of Education. The findings of the study indicate that there are various causes of dropout. Among them poverty was the highest. Other causes identified were: age of pupils, poor academic performance, employment, teacher pupil relationships, peer pressure and other school related factors such as no provision of lunch and poor structures. From the findings the researcher concluded that the scope and magnitude of primary pupil dropout is not as alarming as portrayed. There was also a lot of manipulation of enrolment figures by headteachers. In short, the figures reflected are not real.

Recommendations focus on provision of scholastic materials consistency in school policies, minimization of punishments and a need to do a way with promotional examinations.

The study shows that there is need for each of the stakeholders in primary education to play his role.

CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION.

Background to the study

As from the introduction of Western formal education in Uganda there has been a wide disparity in enrolments of girls and boys at all levels of education; primary, secondary and tertiary. The disparity was prevalent in the colonial era and has persisted in the post – independent Uganda. Sekamwa(2000:219) says that: “When formal schools began to be attended from 1898 the number of girls attending formal schools was far below that of boys”.

This disparity was not a deliberate policy of colonialists or even post independence governments. Far from that. The problem lay with parents; who held the perception that sending girls to schools was a waste of resources. “After all girls with their indigenous education still made good wives when grown without having gone to school”.

What this points out is that as from then, there has been discrimination in education of children based on gender.

Both governments realized this problem and as a measure, the colonial government allowed girls to study free of charge in primary one and two and pay quite reduced school fees there after. True, this measure and many others introduced by both colonial and post independence government did see a rise in girls’ enrolment but it still lagged behind that of boys. The table below gives a picture of this scenario.

Table1: Primary pupil enrolment by gender from 1963 to 2002

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From the above table it is seen that enrolment has been growing steadily since 1963. What is worth noting is that although there was a difference between girls and boys, the gap had decreased by early eighties. For example in 1981 the difference between the two was approximately forty thousand. The number of boys decreased in the eighties as that of girls increased. This trend remained in force up to mid nineties when the number rose again.

With coming to power of NRM government, and during the 1996 presidential campaigns, the government launched the famous “UPE” program. One of the aims of this was to:-

“Provide the minimum necessary facilities and resources to enable Ugandan children of school going age (6 - 12) to enter and remain in school and complete the primary cycle of education” (Ministry of Education and Sports. 1998:2). In sum, the program’s basic goal was to fight dropout.

In spite of this, seven years down the road, warning bells are sounding. The dropout rate is alarming. In fact, realizing this problem, in May 2004, in the week of 12th – 18th to be exact, the Ministry of Education and Sports Launched what it termed “Advocacy rallies”. The mission statement of these rallies was “Retention of children in school primary cycle – with special attention to the girl child”. The theme seems to suggest that there is a relationship between gender and pupil dropout from primary school.

Statement of the problem.

With the introduction of UPE high hopes rose in all and sundry. It was anticipated that all pupils enrolled in primary one would complete the primary cycle of education. However, to the disappointment and surprise of many, this has not been the case. According to teacher talk (2002:1), in 2001 a total of 325, 918 pupils, 4% of the total enrolment dropped out of school. in 2002, total dropout was 325,107, accounting for 4% of the total enrolment. (Ministry of Education and Sports 2003:50). The same source (2003:3) sums the problem thus “this is an indication that a significant number of pupils dropout before completing primary seven”.

On the other hand, Magene(2004), says that in spite of UPE large enrolments, dropouts are alarming. Out of 2,159,850 pupils who enrolled in P1 in 1997 only 33% reached P7 by 2002 and 22% in 2003.

Ahimbisibwe (2004)b amplifies the problem when he asserts that out of 1.6m pupils who joined primary one in 1998 the second year of UPE only 433,010 registered for primary leaving examinations reflecting a 70% dropout.

The above assertions raise a lot of concern an intriguing question is:-

“Why in spite of free primary education for all, does the country still face a high percentage of dropouts?”

It is on the basis of this that the study was carried out.

Purpose of the study

the education system at any level is characterized by dropouts. The role of government and other stakeholders is ensure that the dropouts are as much as possible minimized. This is best done if there is a constant evaluation of the magnitude and rate of and the causes of dropouts. It is on the basis of this that the study was carried out: to find the causes of pupil dropout at primary level and what is the rate and magnitude of the dropout in Busulani.

Objectives of the Study.

The study sought to investigate:-

(i) The factors that lead to pupil dropout from primary school in Busulani.
(ii) The factors that are gender related in Busulani.
(iii) The rate of pupil dropout from primary school in Busulani.
(iv) The level of primary education at which dropout is highest in Busulani.
(v) The ratio of female dropout to that of male dropout in Busulani.

Research questions.

The following research questions were the focus of the study.

(i) What are the factors that lead to pupils’ dropout of school?
(ii) What factors are gender related?
(iii) What is the rate of pupil dropout from primary school?
(iv) What level of primary is dropout highest?
(v) What is the ratio of female dropout to male dropout?

The scope of the study.

The study was carried out in Busulani Sub County Budadiri East Sironko District.

It covered sampled primary schools, head teachers, teachers, selected parents and pupils.

This area was selected because it had been identified by Education and sports ministry as the district with highest dropouts in the country.

It concentrated on what are the causes of pupil dropout from primary school and primary education dropout is highest.

Significance of the study.

The findings of the study should be useful to various categories of people and organizations. These range from politicians, educators, social groups such as women activists and Ministry of Education and Sports in identifying what has gone wrong.

Results obtained may identify the problems of school system and consequently assist in laying strategies to overcome such problems.

To politicians the study may help them redefine education policies and strategies. Parents will be helped in revisiting their roles and devising means of catering for their children while at school. Teachers may be able to readjust their pedagogical strategies focusing on keeping children in school.

1.1 Definition of terms.

In the study the terms listed below are taken as defined here under:-

(a) Dropout.

The falling out of school by a learner before completion of a normal cycle of that level. In our case, before completion of primary seven. It excludes those that fall out due to death.

(b) UPE

Universal primary education – the type of education launched by the government of Uganda in 1996 and as improved upon in 2003. It is the provision of free basic education to all Ugandan children of school going age.

(c) Gender.

Classification of humans according to sexes that is: males and females.

(d) (i) Lower primary

Classes one and, two of primary level of education.

(ii) Middle Primary.

Classes three and, four of primary level of education.

(iii) Upper Primary.

Classes five to seven of primary level of education.

Conceptual framework

The conceptual framework below illustrates the various variables that operate together to cause dropouts. the various factors affect the primary pupil male or female at various levels of primary which may result in dropout.

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CHAPTER II LITERATURE REVIEW

Introduction.

Various academicians, social workers and politicians have said a lot on pupil dropouts. These have been documented as research reports, quoted in print media and journals.

In this chapter the relevant sources are reviewed and analysed. For ease of reference, these are reviewed in relation to the research questions.

Causes of pupil dropout from primary school.

Ministry of Education and Sports (2003:50) lists nine major causes of pupil dropout from primary school. These are lack of interest, pregnancy, marriage, fees, Jobs, sickness, family responsibilities, dismissed and disobedience; and others or unknown. In 2002 according to the same source, the national data for dropouts by reason were as follows:-

Table 2 – Reasons for dropouts 2002.

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Source: Ministry of Education and Sports. Uganda Education statistics Abstract 2002

In 2001, as is reflected in Teacher Talk (2002:1), the causes of pupil dropout by percentages were as follows:-

Table 3 Reasons for dropout in percentages 2001

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Source: Teacher Talk Volume I Number 2, October 2002.

All the two sources above indicate that the major cause of pupil dropout from school is lack of interest. Teacher talk (2002:1) sums it as: -“Lack of interest is clearly the over whelming reason why pupils’ dropout. It causes almost half of all dropouts. It caused 139,405 pupils leave school in 2001.”

The above is in line with Ministry of Education and Sports (2003:3), which states that: -“The reported reasons for abandoning schools are lack of interest (46%), family responsibilities (15%) sickness (12%). Employment (4%), Marriage (4%) School fees (3%) Pregnancy (2%) dismissed (1%) and others (13%)”.

A comparison of this with the figures in table 4 above shows an increase in dropouts due to lack of interest in 2001, from 43% to 46% an increase of 3%.

Komukama (2003:6) in her study had two major causes of dropout. These are economic and cultural. She defined economic factors as those that relate to custom’s societal and institutional beliefs. These include gender related activities, early marriages as a result of belief other than a means of getting income, lack of interest due to lack of role models, traditional and religious beliefs.

Her studies revealed that there were variations in causes of pupil dropout from urban schools and rural schools, with economic factors leading in urban and cultural in rural schools. Overall she concluded that cultural factors are the major cause of pupil dropout standing at 59.6% of the total dropout. She ended by recommending that a study be done to find out “what specific cultural aspects are the major causes of pupil dropout from primary school: (2003:29).

Opolot (2000:18) on causes of pupil dropout from primary school quotes the “voices” of Head teachers interviewed as follows: -“Enrolling them in school is easy but the problem is keeping them in school. parents do not contribute and because these children lack basics lke pens and pencils they lose interest in education”.

Besides the above reason, he gives other causes (2000:24, 25, and 27) as lack of fees which leads pupils to being chased from time to time and consequently lose interest, negligence by parents who do not encourage children to attend school; and fear of sitting final exams lest they fail hence dropping out. In addition HIV/AIDS, which lead to death of parents sometimes results in dropouts.

In short, Opolot gives lack of interest, fees problem, non – supportive parents and orphanage as the causes of pupil dropout from primary school.

Ahimbisibwe (2004), in The New Vision of 1st November, quoting communication consultancy, asserts that:

“The main reasons for dropout are economic and social cultural. Pupils dropout for economic reasons like selling goods in the market, lack of meals and lack of scholastic materials like books, uniform and pens. Social cultural reasons include underage enrollment, pregnancy and early marriages, lack of interest, family problems and lack of community appreciation of benefits of education”.

In Tanzania, according to internet information, it is reported that a lot of children who enroll in primary schools drop out every year for various reasons. These include: early marriage and pregnancy for girls, shortage of classrooms, etc. This is tow with what is happening in Uganda. The differences, however, is in shortage of classrooms as a cause of dropout, which is not the case Uganda.

Outside East Africa, in Mozambique, it was reported during the Advocacy meeting in open scholarships – senior decision makers from African Ministries of Education 9 – 13th September 2002, that the major reasons for high dropout are: limited capacity in existing formal schools, many children being forced to interrupt their schooling for a variety of reasons including money, ill health and early pregnancy; the quality of buildings, availability of furniture, apparatus, and equipment, teaching materials and consumables are also extremely low. Besides the above, disparities in ages of learners is also a major cause of dropout. “There is a wide age differences occur in all classes (Sic). This wide age spread is a serious problem for schools both pedagogically and organizationally. The same secenario is present in Mongolia where it is stated that social and economic difficulties were not the only reason for dropout but the environment and way of teaching also played a role.

In Spain, the problem of dropout is not only alarming but also permanent. It is indicated that family social economic variables together with the youth labour market conditions have an impact on primary school dropout behavior.

The study investigated which of these cause primary school dropout in Busulani.

What factors are gender related?

It has been argued that different factors are responsible for different gender dropout from primary school. the following data from Ministry of Education and Sports (2003:50) shows the dropout by reason and gender in 2002.

Table 4. Dropouts by reason and gender 2002.

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Adapted from Ministry of Education and Sports. Uganda Education Statistics Abstract 2002.

Investigation of the above reveals very few outstanding cases where there are specific cases responsible for dropout for specific gender. These are pregnancies, and marriage, which mainly affect females, jobs and others/unknown, which mainly affect males and females.

The above reflects a similar situation portrayed in Teacher Talk (2002:1) that states that: - “Indeed 5893 girls and 187 boys dropped out in 2001 due to pregnancy” it is important to note that “Lack of interest is clearly the overwhelming reason why pupils drop out. It causes almost half of all dropouts”.

It caused 139405 pupils to leave school in 2001. It is a problem for every class and both sexes (75,454 boys and 63,951 girls dropouts in 2001(ibid).

Mango (2002) laments on the high percentage of dropout in Kenya. According to her: - “The dropout is due to early pregnancies, forced marriage, lack of guidance, poverty and illiteracy among others”.

In effect Mango (ibid) is saying that pregnancy and forced marriage affect mainly girls. She is in agreement with what is obtained in Abstract Education statistics for Uganda 2002.

In a study to find out the relationship between gender and causes of pupil dropout Kamukama (2003), carried a study of sampled schools in Mutara Sub county – Bushenyi District.

The study’s null and alternative hypotheses were: - “There is no relationship between gender and causes of pupil dropout from primary school”, and “There is a relationship between gender and causes of pupil dropout from school” respectively (2003:4). After collection of data and analysis she concluded, “There is no relationship between gender and causes of pupil dropout from primary school.”

Opolot’s study (2000), to find out how effective universal primary Education in Northern and central Uganda was revealed some interesting points. Hinting on lack of interest as a major cause of female dropout, he quotes the voice of students as follows:- “Boys tease us girls so much that it is hard to concentrate. Some of them are actually men and they are interested in having sex with us (2000:19). Still on lack of interest, though this time applying to all sexes the pupils are quoted to have said:- “Our parents cannot afford to pay for uniform and feeding fees which get us chased from time to time”. (2000:20).

The same author in his summary brings out the relationship between gender and pupil dropout:

‘Girls are more affected by the demands of domestic work and harsh sanctions against early pregnancies; where as schools chase pregnant girls from school, the boys who may be responsible are not and these girls often get married away by their irate parents.

Culture still dictates that girls provide domestic labour before and after school, undermining access, retention and equitable learning.’

Mugenzi quoting Kuluba in the New Vision of 13th August 2002 gives a somewhat related story to the above. According to her article, the following are some of the factors that are related to gender and pupil dropout from primary school: -“Some girls were nursing their sick mothers while their brothers went to school. Others were staying with guardians (grandmothers, aunts) helping with domestic work. Their brothers stayed at home with parents attending school.”

The National strategy for girls’ Education in Uganda (2000:5) also points out the fact that there is a relationship between gender and pupil dropout. The following are some of the factors hinted on in this document. “Constraints related to Uganda’s partrichial cultures, which oblige parents to uphold the needs and interest of the male above those of the female child and to view girls’ “education as an opportunity cost”. It further states that: - Traditional division of labour in the home and schools and which exerts greater social demands on the girls than the boys often compels the girls to drop out of school to assume domestic duties.”

All the above point out the fact that there are some factors that contribute to female dropout of school as opposed to males.

A makerere research team led by Kasalina(2000) on girl child revealed that:- “A staggering 50% of the girls who drop out of school do so because of pregnancy.” However, this disagrees with what is stated in Teacher Talk(2002: 1), which states that in fact pregnancy accounts for only 1.9% of primary dropout.

This study investigated what the case is, for Busulani sub - county.

Kuluba(2001) did a qualitative study on the causes of girl child dropout from primary school in Kawempe division Kampala district. During the study, Head teachers of schools visited attributed high female dropout to mainly lack of school fees, some girls dropped out of school to become house girls, vendors and waitresses. Some girls were helping their sick parents to run business, and some were selling in shops or rearing chicken.

She also hints on lack of interest as another cause of girl drop out of school mainly as a result of harsh teachers. She contends that: Another category dropped out due to harsh teachers. Girls accused teachers of being too harsh over their performance especially in mathematics. They were beaten severely and ridiculed. This culminated in their losing interest in school and learning in general.

Girls were also given away to men by their poverty stricken parents to earn some money. Kuluba’s study reveals that girls are mainly affected by economic factors. Besides the above academicians, politicians too have added their voices in as far as the issue at stake is concerned. This has been aired and quoted through the print media. Mafabi (2004) reveals that lack of interest is a major cause of pupil dropout from primary school.

One councilor reported that in adequate latrine pits were responsible for the increasing girl child dropout from school. Boys in the primary schools teased the girls when they find them in latrine pit(sic) making girls shy away from school and go back home where there is privacy. (2004:20). Majority of UPE girls were the rural poor who could not afford the towels and humiliation made them abscond from school. (Hyuha 2004:27.

This is confirmed by Kyeyune (2005) who asserts that many girls drop out due to inadequate sanitation and hygiene facilities to cater for their privacy during menstruation.

In addition it has been sighted that out of 100 million children in the world who do not attend school, 44 million are from Africa, the majority girls from the sub Sahara region. “….Girls were less likely than boys to stay in upper primary and secondary schools in Uganda.poverty, conflict, HIV/AIDS early marriages, sexual harassment and harsh school environments were keeping Uganda children out of school” (Kajubi 2004).

Talking about the same issue, Kanyike (2004) said that: - “Even with UPE some families still give priority to sending boys to school”.

Ssenkaaba (2005) sums up the situation as follows: “While this figure looks impressive, the reality is that many more girls still either do not attend or skip school due to gender related causes”. All these indicate that there is a relationship between gender related causes”. All these indicate that there is a relationship between gender and pupil dropout from primary school. This study intended to find out whether Busulani faces the same scenario.

Which level of primary school is dropout highest?

The Ministry of Education and Sports(2003:2) says that: “The uneven distribution of pupils in all grades has put a lot of strain in the lower classes causing high dropout and repetitions in those grades.” The table below ably brings out the picture stated above.

Table 5. Number of dropouts by class – 2002

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Source: Ministry of Education and Sports (2003:50) Uganda Education Statistics Abstract.

An examination of the above reveals the following: -Lower primary contributed 42% of the total dropouts; Middle primary contributed 24.8% of the total dropouts Upper primary contributed 33.2% of the total dropouts.

Whereas in the lower and middle primary females dropouts are lower than that of boys it increases in upper primary.

Teacher Talk (2002:1) gives the following facts about dropouts.” – From P1 – P5 about 4% of the pupils’ dropout each year. In P6 and P7 about 6% of the pupils’ dropout each year. Boys and girls drop out equally from P1 – P5 girls drop out slightly more in P6 and P7”

The scenario above is in agreement with what is stated in the Monitor of June 21st (2004:20) which states that most of the girls stay at school up to P.5 and drop out later at P.6 and P.7 because they have matured and seek privacy which they can’t get at school. Hence Girls were less likely than boys to stay in upper primary and secondary schools in Uganda (Kajubi 2004).

Besides Uganda, elsewhere in the world, the high rate of dropout is said to be alarming too. In Swaziland the high dropout characterizes the system. The table below brings out the scenario.

Table 6. Enrollment by class and percentage dropouts Swaziland 1996.

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Source: CSO 1997 P.3

The above varies from Uganda’s situation where dropouts are higher in lower primary.

Ratios of pupil dropout of males to females.

According to Ministry of Education and Sports ( 2003:50), the ratio of dropouts between males and females is almost the same. It is reported that in 2002, 162, 034 males and 163,073 females dropped out of school.

This is a percentage of 49.8% and 50.2% respectively. As regards to percentage of enrolment to each sex, males and females are the same(4%).

The same source (2003:3) sums up the situation as: - “…..For all classes there isn’t a significant difference between number of boys and girls abandoning school”. However, in 1998, Ministry of Education and Sports (2000:5), the story was different. The percentage of dropouts of boys was 52% while that of girls was 48%, while the percentage of dropout to enrolment per sex was 5.6% of total enrolments for girls.

Kamukama(2003) carried out a quantitative research on the relationship between gender and causes of pupil dropout from primary schools in Mutara sub county Bushenyi District. The study was to find out the causes of dropout from primary schools and if they are gender related as claimed by the major stakeholders in Education.” (2003J.

The researcher mainly limited her study to data analysis by collecting the number of students who had dropped out of school by gender and causes for the years 2002, 2001, and 2000. This data was got by use of questionnaires to heads of sampled schools.

She mainly concentrated on two major causes economic and cultural. The results got were analysed in form of percentages. On the whole she found out that: - “…in as far as gender is concerned, girls top the list of dropout at 61% of the total dropout” (2003:26).

A study by Opolot (2000) to examine the success of universal primary education in Northern Uganda and Kampala district brings out some interesting points in as far as the ratio of males to females dropouts is concerned. He states that:- It is evident that girls are fewer than boys in this school. The gender discrepancy in enrolment arises from the retention of girls at home for domestic chores and early marriage.

Kuluba (2001) did a qualitative study on the causes of girl child dropout from schools in Kawempe Division Kampala District. During the study she found out that dropout for girls was higher than that of boys.

Platform for Action, The Girl child (2001), has something to offer in as far as ratios are concerned. It states that:-

Although the number of educated children has risen in the past 20 years in some countries, boys have proportionately fared much better than girls. In 1990 130 million children had no access to primary schools of these 81 million were girls. Though the above relates to access it is also true to retention and dropout.

The above is closely related to what is revealed in “National strategy for Girls Education in Uganda”. (2000:3). “Even when UPE recently created a massive increase in gross enrolment from 2.6m to 5.2m (1997) and government deliberately encouraged equal registration of boys and girls, the gender gap remained. 16.6% more boys than girls were enrolled”. On retention it says that: - “Indicators point to a larger share of females’ dropouts in upper primary classes (9.4% compared to 8.2% for boys) with wider gaps for disadvantaged children”.

The above is cemented by reports from the Common Wealth Education fund which indicate that the completion rate in Uganda was still very low with dropouts for girls being 77.9% between primary one and seven (Ssenkaaba 2005).

Rate of pupil dropout from primary school.

According to a Ministry of Education and Sports – Education Statistics Abstract 2002, there is a high dropout of pupils from primary school. The said source giving the statistics for the year 2002 says that the uneven distribution of pupils in all graders has put a lot of strain in the lower classes causing high rates of dropouts. This is an indication that a significant number of pupils abandon school before completing primary seven. (Ministry of Education and Sports 2003:3). Later in presenting the real figures, the same source indicates that in 2002, a total of 325,107, pupils dropped out of school. This accounted for 4% of the total enrolment.

In 2001, a total of 325,918 children dropped out of school. This accounted for 4% of the total enrolment (Teacher talk, 2002:1)

In 1998, a total of 306,316 pupils dropped out of schools. This accounted for 5.6% of the total enrolment (Ministry of Education and Sports 2000:5).

Magene (2004), says that in spite of UPE large enrolment, dropouts are alarming out of 2,159,850 pupils who enrolled in P1 in 1997, only 33% reached P6 by 2002 and 22% reached P7 in 2003”.

The above is confirmed by Ahimbisibwe(2004) who says “This year, of the 1.6m pupils who joined primary one in 1998, the second year of UPE, only 433,010 have registered for primary leaving examinations…..This reflects 70% dropout rate, raising questions as to where the over 1.5million went.

The above sources give great disparities from what the ministry data shows. All the above point out one thing: That the rate of pupil dropout from primary school is high.

In Mozambique, the story is no better. According to the 2001 Annual sector review, only 67% of children completed the first five years of compulsory education (EPI), while only 53% complete grade seven level. This signifies a percentage dropout of 47. This is much lower than Uganda’s which stands at 70%. The researcher investigated the dropout rate in Busulani.

Summary

In this chapter, literature related to the study has been reviewed. This covers what are the causes of pupil dropout from primary school, the ratios of dropout and levels of dropout at various levels of primary. The reasons for dropouts vary from area to area and so are the rates. In all the situations it is clear that the problem of dropout is real. The study investigated whether it was the same for Busulani.

CHAPTER III METHODOLOGY.

Research design.

The study was carried out using qualitative method of data collection. It was a survey involving the use of open and closed interviews, analysis of documents, and questionnaires. This sought to get experiences, opinions and knowledge of respondents on the study in question.

Instruments

The instruments used include: questionnaires, interview guides, and document analysis guides. Interview guides varied from respondent to respondent according to category. For teachers open – ended interviews were used while informal conversations were used for parents and closed interviews for pupils.

Area of Study.

The Study was carried out in Busulani Subcounty Budadiri Sironko district.

Three primary schools namely Budadiri Boys Boarding, Budadiri Girls Boarding and Nakirungu were the focus of study.

Permission was sought from the District Education Officer Sironko to visit the mentioned schools for data collection.

Sampling.

Purposive sampling was used. Respondents were selectively chosen to cater for various interests. These are sex, and nature of schools. Budadiri Boys boarding reflected the picture of boys in boarding schools, while Budadiri girls boarding reflected the girls Boarding schools

Purposive sampling was used. Respondents were selectively chosen to cater for various interests. These are sex, and nature of schools. Budadiri Boys boarding reflected the picture of boys in boarding schools, while Budadiri girls boarding reflected the girls Boarding schools. In addition they are not fully UPE schools. Education in these schools is not free. Results from these schools revealed the trend of the elite class. Nakirungu primary school on the other hand is a fully universal primary education school and is mixed. Results from this school gave a picture of the UPE School. This means therefore that results from all the three schools reflected more or less the social and economic statuses of society. In each of the primary schools headteachers together with teachers males and females were included in the study. These were got by purposive sampling where each level of primary was considered. Further more, parents: females and males in each of the schools were included.

Pupils from upper primary in each of the schools were interviewed. The purpose of this was to get the pupils’ own perception on what could be the causes of pupil dropout from primary. The table below shows the respondents from each category of populations.

The respondents were from a number of populations. The table below shows the category of population and choice of sample.

Table. 7 Population category and sample

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Procedure of data collection.

The major method of data collection was interviews, questionnaires and document analysis.

Interviews were mainly for parents, pupils and teachers. These were varied depending on the type of respondents to suit the level of maturity and understanding. For teachers open – ended interviews were used while for parents informal conversational interviews were used, and for the pupils closed fixed response interviews were used. For headteachers questionnaires were used. To each of the schools, class registers for the years, 2004 and 2003 were studied and analysed.

Data analysis:

Data collected was analysed on qualitative basis, where numerical data was used it was for purposes of explaining and elaborating a point. The general conclusions were based on descriptions and interpretations as got from the respondents.

Linking Research questions to methods.

Here below is a table showing the linking of research questions to methods. Each research question is linked to a method and justification for it given.

Table 8: Linking research questions and methods.

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Validity.

The validity of instruments was established through triangulation of sources namely headteachers, teachers, parents and pupils, as well as triangulation of methods such as questionnaires, interviews and document analysis.

Reliability

Reliability of instruments was established by carrying out pre – tests.

CHAPTER IV PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION OF FINDINGS

Introduction

This chapter presents analyses and interprets the findings in a bid to answer the five research questions. To remind us, these were:-

(i) What are factors that lead pupils to drop out of primary school?
(ii) What factors are gender related?
(iii) What level of primary is dropout highest?
(iv) What is the ratio of dropout of females to males?
(v) What is the rate of pupil dropout of primary school?

Presentation

The data was collected using three instruments: questionnaires, interview guides and analysis of document.

Three primary schools were chosen for the study. In each of these schools, questionnaires were given to head teacher who filled them and returned them to the researcher. Document analysis was carried out on Ministry of Education and Sports returns; and class registers for the chosen classes; for each of the years 2003 and 2004.

Interviews were held for six teachers, three pupils and three parents.

The data is presented analysed and interpreted for each of the research questions.

Question I What are the factors that lead pupils to drop out of the school?

The fist question sought to answer the question what are the factors that lead to pupil dropout at primary level. It was tested by three instruments namely questionnaires nterviews and analysis of document guide. Views were sought from various categories of people ranging from headteachers, teachers, and parents through to pupils.

Revelations from all the instruments showed that there are various reasons for pupil dropout from primary schools. Also under this research question, the researcher wanted to find out those responsible for the dropouts.

General causes.

Through the questionnaires, the headteachers gave the following as the general cause of pupil dropout in rank order.

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Parents through interviews also echoed the above. One of the parents had this to say:-

“Most of these parents are poor and cannot afford the necessities such as books, pens as well as uniform.Besides, others are not educated and therefore do not see the importance of keeping these children in school.”

The above response suggests that even though the government is paying fees, there are still other necessities, which parents find difficult to provide and as such leading pupils to drop out of school.

Ninety percent of the parents stressed the fact that poverty, early marriages, pregnancy and employment contributed a lot to pupil dropout from primary school. the following are responses from parents on what are the reasons for pupil dropout of school:-

1st Parent: “There are very many reasons. They vary from area to area. The common ones are family affairs – you know separation of parents. The children find themselves with no one to care.

Secondly UPE does not provide everything e.g. uniform, scholastic materials – what not you know; and then yes lack of food? Yes some times. Then there are stubborn children –you know. They end up in trading centers.”

2nd parent: “Point number one. Most of these parents are not educated you see! Do not value education. They just pull out the children out of school.

Yes, yes, this area – business has a lot of impact. People think education is a long way to getting money. So the children get out of school to do business or be employed as bodaboda riders. These you see came out of school.

And girls of course you know they get married. Few get out due to pregnancy. What? Poverty! Oh yes, it does.

No!No! UPE is not enough. It does not provide everything. How about books, uniform and the other lot. Yes poverty also leads them to leave school”.

3rd parent: “Why pupils leave school. Reasons are many. Talk of marriages, pregnancy and well of course poverty.”

In spite of a few variations, all the parents seem to be pointing out the already mentioned major causes of pupil dropout. In brief these are poverty, marriages, pregnancy and employment.

Besides parents, responses were also got from teachers through the instrument of interviews.

Responses from teachers tended to rhyme with those of the Headteachers, and partly those of parents. Besides the teachers also gave age, poor structures, and poor academic performance and teacher pupil relationships as other causes of dropouts.

They stressed the fact that older pupils when told to repeat after poor performance feel humiliated, and as such decide to leave school. it was found out that though there is a policy of automatic promotion, some schools especially boarding ones were not following it.

As regards poor structures, it was said that this mainly affected mature pupils and those from well to do families. This is mainly the case with lack of seats, where pupils would find themselves sitting on mats and or on carpets. In worse situations even these are lacking. This is compounded by overcrowded classrooms. The excerpts from responses of the teachers given below give a true picture:

1st teacher: “Well background. I mean general poverty. Parents cannot provide all necessities. Then there is child labour. Most pupils who drop out especially girls go to become house girls. Then there are those girls who feel they are big enough – if told to repeat they are ashamed – others simply get tired and leave school. some teachers use bad language while others beat them up. This scares kides away.

2nd teacher: “Most of these girls are not interested. Ok. You see the parents and environment affects them. Another thing is some of them elope with men. You see lack of provision by parents. They see marriages as a solution. Then circumcision. Yes. During circumcision, there was a lot of dropout. And of course lack of scholastic materials and then here, for our case parents who fail to provide lunch. We charge lunch dues. Pupils fear to carry and eat cold food when their friends are eating warm food.”

3rd teacher: “Marriage – due to peer pressure. Then there is this thing. Ah – pregnancy. Yes! Even males. You canot make my girl pregnant, leave school and you remain. Parents of pregnant girls hunt for responsible boys. They end up leaving school.

Oh-yes, there is the case of big pupils. They feel challenged by small ones. Some teachers tend to associate or I mean make advances to the big girls. This leads to these girls run away- escape.”

4th teacher: “Well. Let me see. Some lack scholastic materials. Yes, their parents are poor. There are those who just do not care. I mean parents.

Even if they are rich they do not provide. May be because of low education. Distance also leads students to leave school. No. schools are still far from homes. Like in our case this is a mountainous area. There is also pregnancy and early marriages- I had also forgotten about repetition.

I mean when pupils are told to repeat- they run away.

No! for our case we give examinations. Those who fail repeat. Then here, I mean in this school, we have a unit for disabled. When you identify a pupil and you send him or her to that unit refuses and ends up leaving school.”

5th teacher: “There are very many reasons. First there are orphans. These do not have any one to provide for them. They lack some items. They feel out of place and as such leave school. Poor academic performance also is there. Oh- yes. Even in P. one. These children are funny. You see the reports have places for positions. The kid finds it the last; it is the same next time. It feels it is wasting time even if there is no repetition. I think poverty leads. Lunch! Oh- Yes some do not carry, lunch. When it is break or lunch, they just watch. Finally they lose hope and drop out. All this is related to poverty. You know here in Bugisu land is a problem. They have nowhere to grow food. At times fear of bringing poor food compared to others. Yes, punishment leads to some them leave school. You these kids need proper handling. Some of them come from families where they are never punished. Distance? Let me see. May be for the young kids. Like those of primary one.”

Four out of five respondents above reveal that poverty is the major cause of pupil dropout of primary school. Punishments and poor performance are also one of the causes.

Pupils were also interviewed. These were those still in school. These were upper primary pupils who could express themselves in English. Pupils accepted that peer pressure was among the causes of pupil dropout. They further hinted on lack of lunch and non-provision of uniform and other scholastic materials as causes of dropout.

Employment too was given but this was attributed to peer pressure. Most of the pupils especially boys that dropped out to go to work were in fact from well to do families.

There were very few cases of dropping due to punishment and harassment. All pupils agreed to the fact that traditional practices- mainly circumcision in a way contributed to dropout.

On poor academic performance, the pupils said that this was not a major issue.

In as far as this research question is concerned analysis of document guide was not helpful as neither the registers nor Ministry of Education’s statistics showed dropout by reason.

Analysis made from the instruments named above reveal that the general causes of pupil dropout vary from place to place, but the major ones are poverty, poor academic performance, marriage and pregnancy, teacher pupil relationships and punishments, peer pressure, distance and sickness and orphanage.

Specific causes of pupil dropout.

Under question one, besides the general causes of pupil dropout; the question also was to find out the specific causes of dropout. This was mainly considered in three parts: namely parents, school and government. On issue of who is responsible for dropout, all sources pointed out parents as the leading cause; followed by environment and peer pressure and school related factors came last.

As to what school related factors were responsible for pupil dropout, lack of provision of meals at school topped, followed by poor pupil teacher relationships, peer pressure, poor academic performance and poor structures.

The study also found out that the causes of dropouts in boarding schools were different from those in day schools.

In schools that were particularly boarding and day, it was found out that of the total dropouts, day scholars accounted for 90%. When asked why this was the case, one of the teacher respondents said that parents who put their children in boarding section of the schools were more able compared to their colleagues who put theirs in the day section. In fact in boarding schools the major cause of dropout was peer pressure, marriage and pregnancy and poor pupil relationships.

By and large, the analysis of research question one suggests that there are varied causes of pupil dropout from primary schools. These depend on nature of school whether day or boarding. Analysis further reveals that poverty is the leading cause of pupil dropout from primary school. It also shows that parents are more responsible for the dropout out compared to the school and government. Finally it reveals that the pupil teacher relationship is the leading related cause of pupil dropout of school.

Question II What factors are gender related?

The purpose of this research question was to find out what causes of pupil dropout are gender related. The researcher was interested in finding out whether there are specific reasons that lead to pupil dropout for a specific sex as opposed to the other.

Instruments used to get answers to this question were, questionnaires and interviews.

The questionnaire question required headteachers to specify which factors affected which sex, while document analysis guide paid attention to end of year enrollment by reason and reason for dropout. Class registers and statistical returns to Ministry of Education and Sports were the major documents analysed.

Of the three instruments, only two were useful. The third one – analysis of document guide was not. This is because the said documents that is registers and statistical returns did not show causes of dropouts.

In spite of this shortfall the other two instruments still proved useful.

The research found out that there were few causes that were unique to a specific sex. In all schools and from all respondents, it was clear that marriage and pregnancy mainly affected the girls. There were however, few cases of boys also dropping out due to pregnancy and marriage. One of the teachers pointed out the pregnancy also led male pupils to dropping out of school. This happened where parents of pregnant girls followed up the boys that had made the girl pregnant. The responsible boy is forced to leave school. At times the boys are forced to marry the girls thus dropping out of school.

Employment was seen as a cause of dropout for all sexes, but mainly affected the boys. Pupils interviewed said that this was due to peer pressure. “Most of the boys left school to go and work so as to get money. They wanted to be like their friends who were riding bicycles going to videos, drinking and smoking.”

A female pupil had this to say, “Most of my friends who left school for work – went because they never had money. Some, were removed by their parents to go and work so as to get them – I mean parents money”

The above responses clearly indicate that few cases relate to a specific sex for dropout. In sum, analysis shows that there are no specific causes of dropout for a specific sex. However, pregnancy and marriage affect females more than males.

Question III What level of primary is dropout highest?

Answers to this question sought to identify what level of primary dropout was highest. Primary education is normally divided into three sections. These are lower, middle and upper.

Analysis of document guide was used. Class registers were useful.

Results from class register analysis. The table below shows class registers summaries for the schools under question

Table 9. Class registers summaries 2003 – 2004

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The above reveals that there was a total dropout of 165 pupils for the years 2003 and 2004, of these 142 were in upper primary. This accounts for 86% of the total dropout.

Asked as to why, nearly all the respondents hinted on the fact that in upper primary pupils are big and therefore the cause of age, marriage and employment may apply to them.

Further more, the issue of poverty also comes in play at this stage.

One teacher had this to say:-

“You see, the requirements in terms of scholastic materials become more in upper primary. We request that pupils have mathematical sets, exercise books for all subjects and at times a file. We also administer more frequent tests – which means that the books get finished up more often. This leads to increased financial burden on the parent, and, well if he or she is poor the only alternative is to ask the pupil to drop out. Also, at this stage, the parents and even pupils feel they have gained some knowledge. The pupils are no longer illiterate”.

Echoing the voice of teachers, the parents also agreed that dropout is mainly at upper primary. The reasons given also point to poverty but from a different angle. A female parent had the following to say:-

“You see by primary five; the children will have grown. They are adolescents. In case of girls, they start demanding more. They need pads, lotions, perfumes – you know ladies have to be smart. Yes, even boys. They start asking for under wears, deodorants and even shoes. They begin to regard themselves as men and women. And remember these demands I mean lotions, perfumes, underwear and shoes are not cheap. These added to costs of scholastic materials make education expensive. You know what, others even ask for more than one pair of uniform and then of course – there is washing. When parents fail to provide these, children dropout of school altogether and seek for alternatives”.

The voice of pupils was no different from their elders. They said dropouts were high at upper primary. As to the reasons, they brought in something different; academic performance. Schools start being serious with performance at this level.

“You see, promotion from primary six to primary seven is not easy. Our teachers want those bright boys to join primary seven. Those who will pass and as such there are a lot of repetitions. Those who are told to repeat primary six more than once get tired and decide to leave school”. One of the pupils said.

Analysis of the above shows that dropouts are mainly in upper primary school. The main reasons for this are age, academic performance and above all poverty. Education at this level becomes more expensive.

Question IV What is the ratio of dropout of females to males?

This question sought to find out the ratio of dropouts of males to females. It was intended to find out which sex is affected most by dropouts. Like in the previous question it was tested by three instruments.

Data from the questionnaires indicated that the boys drop out more than the girls. Results showed 52% of the dropouts were boys, while girls were 48%.

This finding however, differs from what the interviewed parents said. All the parents agreed that girls drop out more than the boys. They stated that much as enrollment for girls was high – because of the high percentage of female children in this area, when it comes to dropout, girls drop out most.

One of the parent’s responses was that: - “In this part of the world, girls dropout most. This is because parents still regard it as waste to educate girls.” She added that however, most girls do drop out for marriage and as a result of pregnancy.

Another one said; “ Girls do drop out more than boys. I do not have figures, but that is what I know. You see, girls are pulled out of school to go and help in domestic work; others have to go and look after their relatives. I mean when there is no money you get out girls. Even when relatives come looking for children to help them in their families, they ask for girls. I mean those to become housekeepers. These people prefer girls not boys.”

On the contrary teachers gave a different story. All the teachers interviewed had a unison answer. Boys dropped out of school more than girls.

A female teacher had this to back up her assertion:-

“You see the idea of boys helping parents is a misconception. Parents have realized that educated girls help their parents more than boys. You see all these houses being built; they are built by girls for their parents – mainly for the mothers. And you know what, with the polygamous families around mothers come in to educate their daughters. They know it is they to help them. And indeed yes girls these ends have done a lot. Even those who have not gone to school. So the parents say supposing she was educated she would have done a lot and so they educate their girls. Then there is this idea of extended families. When it comes to helping, I mean if your husband is to help educate members of your family, a girl is chosen. This is because girls are more obedient. Even me; I educate my sisters because they help me. This explains why it is the boys that drop out more.”

In sum, analysis indicates that in this part of the world, boys do drop out more than girls.

Question V what is the rate of pupil dropout from school?

This section dealt with finding out the rates of pupil drop out from primary schools. The purpose was to find out whether the rates of dropout are alarming.

Responses from questionnaires indicated that for all the schools in question for the years

2003 – 2004 was 121 out of 6.605. This accounted fro 0.02%, indicating a negligible dropout.

According to teachers interviewed, the rates of dropout are not as alarming as is portrayed. In fact, one teacher indicated that there were increases in enrolment instead of dropout in some classes.

In one of the boarding primary schools, the teacher said, “Perhaps talk of not enrolling, but dropout, no, it is not as these Ministry people claim. Perhaps they do not have the right figures.”

Pupils also echoed the above scenario. One of the pupils testified that only two pupils had dropped out of school since he joined the school six years ago. He stressed a fact that nearly all those he had started primary one with were still in school except two.

One pupil, in a purely day school, asserted that there was only one girl who had completely left school since he joined that school. He further elaborated that there were a good number of pupils who transferred to other schools but had not dropped out of school. This pupil was able to bring out this scenario after explaining to him what dropout meant.

Parents too, agreed that much as there were dropouts, they were no longer alarming. One of the female respondents said that dropout used to be very high before introduction of UPE. The parent went a head to say that the real problem lay with not sending children to school. When told of the Ministry’s out cry about dropout, the said parent said, “May be this occurs in other areas, but here, the problem is not that very bad”.

Results from class registers portray a different story. Most of the figures in these registers varied greatly with what was stated in the questionnaire by the headteachers and responses from teachers and pupils. For example, where as in the questionnaires it was indicated that percentage dropout was 0.02%, class register summaries indicated a percentage of 6.23. much as this is higher it still indicates a low figure. This does not look alarming.

This is in agreement with the fore mentioned that dropouts are not all that alarming.

Ghost pupils/imaginary dropout.

Where as this section focused on dropout something worthy to note was revealed.

During interviews, responses from questionnaires and document analysis, it was found out that dropouts are not alarming. When the researcher tried to find out why there was a lot of deviance from what is on the ground and what is reported in media and government, nearly all respondents save for the pupils, mentioned inflation of pupils by the headteachers.

All the parents interviewed agreed on the fact that head teachers exaggerated enrollments.

This was for the sake of getting more capitation grants.

“It is this money thing. This so – called capitation – I mean UPE money;

Headteachers make the numbers large so as to get more money. You see, this money based on numbers. The more numbers the more money. And so headteachers give big numbers even if pupils are not there”.

Throughout all the schools, teachers interviewed also shared the same views as parents. Headteachers inflated numbers of lower and middle primary so that they could get more money . teachers pointed out the enrollment in upper classes could not be exaggerated because it is easy to ascertain especially primary seven. Through those who will have sat the examinations. So as to appear as if the statistics given are real, the headteachers do indicate the excess as dropout.

“The headteachers are funny. They never let us know or ask us to give statistics. They just give numbers that are not real. Infact some of them have two registers, one for the official use, and one for us teachers. The headteachers inflate numbers of primary one to three, and then when it is primary seven or somewhere, or when there is head count, they claim the rest dropped out. This dropout thing is not so bad. I fear even the numbers given under UPE are not real!”

The above fears were clearly seen when analyzing the statistical returns to Ministry of Education and sports, and compared to class registers of one of the schools. The table below brings the picture.

Table 10. Comparison of registers to returns.

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The above figures indicate an inflation of enrollment for only four classes by eleven percent. This could be the tip of Iceberg. If other classes are included, the percentage is likely to be higher.

Analysis of data in this section reveals that the rate of pupil dropout is not very high. It also reveals a deliberate effort by headteachers of primary schools to inflate the enrollment of pupils. This done to get more UPE capitation grants.

CHAPTER V DISCUSSION, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS.

Introduction.

The study was carried out to determine the cause of pupil dropout of primary school and rate and magnitude of the problem of dropout. It concentrated on finding out the causes, which causes affect which sex, general rates of dropout, and ratios of female to male dropout. It was carried out in Busulani Sub – county, Budadiri East Sironko District.

In order to accomplish the study, five research questions were used. These were tested by use of three instruments namely questionnaires, interview guides and analysis of document. This chapter discusses the results that were presented, interpreted and analyzed in the previous chapter. Conclusions are also made and recommendations based on the said results made.

Discussion

It is true that not all pupils who enroll in primary finish the primary cycle of education. Various reasons do account for this. The study found out that poverty is the major cause of pupil dropout. The findings contradict those of the Ministry of Education and Sports (2003:3) which give cause of interest as the major cause of dropout from primary school. However, these findings agree with those of Opolot (2000:18, and Ahimbisibwe(2004) who assert that economic factors specifically poverty is the leading cause of pupil dropout from schools.

There are differences between findings of this study, Opolot’s (2000:18) and Ahimbisibwe’s (2004) and those of Teacher Talk(2002:1) with those of Education and Sports (2003:3, 50) it is important to note that the data from both Ministry of Education and Teacher Talk are national. They combine rural schools as well as urban schools, where as this study and Opolot’s deal mainly with rural districts of Gulu and Sironko. Where in urban areas parents and guardians may be able to pay fees, in rural areas it is the opposite. The incomes of rural areas are low and hence any increased costs on education mean increased burden, which might lead to taking opportunity costs. This means pulling out children from school. besides this major difference, all other causes of dropout as portrayed in the Ministry of Education and Sports (2003:50) are similar to Sironko. This study however, also adds on other factors, which are not clearly put in the sources above. These are pupil teacher relationships, peer pressure, disturbed families, and poor performance. Perhaps some of these are bundled together under lack of interest. The researcher feels that this grouping does not vividly portray the role of teachers as causes of dropouts.

Finally, it is clear from the data that the problem of dropout is more complex. There are various factors that are interrelated that make this issue more serious. The underlying cause of dropout is poverty and those that relate to parents and teachers. School structures also do contribute. The idea of the ministry of education statistics indicating lack of interest as the major cause of dropout is erroneous.

This is so that lack of interest is symptomatic. It is not causative. By saying that pupils drop out of school due to lack of interest is only referring to the symptom and not at the cause. A pupil who lacks books and is punished for not having a book, and finally loses interest, but rather due to poverty. The same applies to one who leaves school as result of punishment or poor performance. This will have left due to lack of interest but beneath that is the problem of teachers and poor performance. Indeed Kuluba (2001) states thus:

“Another category dropped out due to harsh teachers….they were beaten severely and ridiculed. This culminated in their losing interest in school and learning in general.”

Analysis of the quotation above indicates that the proximate cause of dropout is not lack of interest but rather harsh teacher. To face the real challenge, there is need to identify what causes lack of interest. We have to refer to proximate causes. The findings of this study have tried to show this. The same need to be done at national level.

It has been agued that different factors are responsible for dropout of different sexes at primary school. the findings of the study do agree with the Ministry of Education and Sports (2003:50) and Teacher Talk (2002:1) that indicate minute differences in most of the causes save for marriage and pregnancy that affect mainly females. Even Mango (2002) lamented the high percentage of drop out of primary schools in Kenya due to pregnancy and forced marriages.

Besides marriage and pregnancy, the findings of this study agree with those of Komukama (2003) who stated that “there is no relationship between gender and causes of pupil dropout” this could be attributed to the fact that the era of women emancipation has had an impact on society. Society knows the need to educate all children.

And more to that, considering the major cause of dropout being poverty; it does not matter what sex it is. If money is not available it is not; whether for males or females. Apart from causes the study looked at the scope and magnitude of dropout. Here what was considered first is at which level of primary dropout is highest.

Ministry of Education and Sports (2003:2) agrees there exists an uneven distribution of pupils in all grades. The same source indicates that there is a high percentage of dropouts in lower and middle primary. On the contrary, Teacher Talk (2003:1) gives different views. It sates that dropouts are higher in upper primary.

The study aimed at finding out what the situation was for Busulani. Indeed the study findings agree with the Teacher Talk (2002 (2003:50). In Busulani sub county dropouts are higher in upper primary. Reasons for this are almost similar to those stated in the Monitor (2004:20), which stated “Most of our girls stay at school up to P.5 and drop out later at P6 and P7 because they have matured …..”

This assertion is in tow with what one of the parents said:-

“You see by primary five; the children will have grown. They are adolescents. In case of girls, they start demanding more….these children drop out of school altogether”.

The disparity between what is stated in Monitor together with the findings of this research could be attributed to the fact the education data is national in character and covered a bigger area. This means that data in some urban areas could have greatly influenced the national one. In urban areas, since most parents are rich, they can provide, and moreover, the age differential in these areas is minimal. There are no big children in urban areas and sub urban areas of the elite West and Central regions. On the contrary results from the study and Monitor all come from Eastern Uganda. These are rural areas where children go to school at an older age. In addition the effect of poverty plays a double role to this effect.

Ratios of dropouts of males to females were also of interest. It has been agued that girls drop out more than boys. This has been attributed to retention of girls at home for domestic cores and early marriages (Kuluba 2001, Komukama 2003).

On the other hand, Ministry of Education and Sports (2003:3,50) data reveals that there is no significant difference between the number of boys and girls who abandon school.

Results from this study indicate otherwise. It shows that boys drop out more than girls at 52 percent and 48 percent respectively.

The revelation by one of the teachers interviewed, best sums up the reason for this scenario in Busulani. The economic part of it is at play. Parents view education as investment. A parent educates a child with a hope that this child will be able to render help in old age. Dividends from this investment indicate that girls do provide the best. “You see the idea of boys helping parents is a misconception. Parents have realized that girls help more than boys. You see all these houses being built. They are built by girls for their parents.”

Discipline among females plays a central role too. This mainly comes in when it comes to relatives and siblings helping children go to school. Most prefer to help girls because of their discipline. Thus if there are two pupils, female and male who have to leave school due to financial constraints, the female will always take priority. One teacher respondent had this to say, “When it comes to helping.a girls is chosen. This is because girls are obedient. Even me I educate my sisters because they help me. This explains why it is boys that drop out more.”

The above factors may provide answers to account for the higher rate of dropout of boys compared to girls.

There has been still is an out cry that rates of dropouts from primary school are alarming. Magene(2004) says that in spite of UPE large enrolments, dropouts are alarming. Ahimbisibwe (2004) confirms the above statement. He asserts that total percentage dropout are 70 percent.

Much as Ministry of Education and Sports (2003:3) acknowledges the fact that there are dropouts, the figures are not as alarming as of the two sources above. Teacher Talk (2002:1) also acknowledges dropouts, but still gives lower figures.

They both put dropout at four percent for years 2002 and 2003.

Analysis of class registers during the study found out that dropouts were at 6:3%; while those from questionnaires put it at 0.02%. All this shows that dropouts in Busulani are not as alarming as portrayed elsewhere. Indeed it has been argued that some politicians and media have made capital out of primary enrollments by exaggerating dropouts. The researcher, judging from the findings of the study, feels this may be true.

The findings of the study reveal something more serious than dropouts. The inflating of enrollment figures by headteachers.

In all the schools teachers did point out the fact that the issue of dropout is not alarming at all. It was indicated that headteachers do inflate figures so as to get more capitation. Indeed analysis of class register summaries, and returns to Ministry statistics showed an 11% inflation of pupils for 2003.

This means that even national enrolment figures are not real. This calls for a mechanism to monitor and ascertain whether enrolments given are true or not.

The idea of head count should be strengthened. Perhaps, there is a need to devise better ways of allowing grants not based on enrollment.

A summary of the findings.

In sum, the findings of the study were:-

There are various causes of pupil dropout from primary school. of these poverty is on a lead. In addition parents and teachers do contribute to these dropouts. Further the scope and magnitude of dropouts is not all that alarming. The rates of dropouts are not very high and so is the gap between male and female dropouts. The fears that females do dropout more may not be true for all cases.

The study also indicated that there is manipulation of enrollment figures in primary schools, which does not give a true picture of what is on the ground.

Conclusion:

The findings of the study show that the problem of dropouts is real; however, the magnitude and scope is not as alarming as is portrayed.

The causes of dropouts are many and varied. These are interrelated that one factor leads to the other hence creating confusion on what are the real causes of dropout. This is the mistake the education ministry has always made. To say that lack of interest is a major cause of dropout is not only erroneous, but also off the mark. One to find solutions for dropouts using this criterion will shoot off target.

In the study it has been revealed that poverty, poor academic performance, the age of pupils together with the nature of school are the real causes of dropout. All those lead to lack of interest. Lack of interest therefore is the symptom and not the cause of pupil dropouts

Recommendations:

From the findings of the study and discussions and conclusions made, the following recommendations have been formulated.

1. Poverty is a major cause of pupil dropout. There is a need to reduce costs of primary education. Provision of scholastic materials by the Government could be one such way.

2. The issue of punishments and examination need to be revised. The government policy is that pupils should not be given corporal punishments and no repetitions. Most of this is at best followed on paper. Even where automatic promotions are made the issue of positions or rather ranking should not be of public knowledge to pupils. Teachers could use them only for their own pedagogical purposes.

3. There is a need for constant inspection of schools to ensure that government policies are implemented.

4. Teachers need to adhere to the professional requirements. There is need to reexamine the teachers conduct towards pupils in form of punishment and personal relationships. This could be done through conducting regular refresher courses.

5. There is need for constant guidance and counseling to pupils in schools. The departments of senior female and male teachers need to be strengthened. Through this pupils with problems will be identified and helped. This will reduce on the problem of lack of interest. Through counseling pupils will know and accept them selves. This will lead to settling down and hence stop dropouts.

6. Parents like pupils need a lot of counseling. Mobilization and sensitization has to be intensified. Parents need to be told of their roles in educating the children. They further need to be made aware of the advantages of an educated child not only to the parents but also to the society at large.

7. More primary schools are built. This should be done to narrow the distance between homes and schools. Currently the national average distance from homes to school is four kilometers; implying a distance of eight kilometers to and from school daily. This distance is much. More schools will reduce this and consequently solve the problem of infants who do drop out of school due to distance.

REFERENCES:

Ahimbisibwe. F.(2004 Nov. 1st.) “A shocking 70% drop out of UPE.” The New vision http://allafrica. Com/stories/200208110138.htmI http:///003 - ug - universal. Doc+causes+fo+girl- childrop-out+in+uganda&hI = en&se =UTF-

Komukama. L. (2003). The Relationship between gender and Causes of pupil

Dropout from primary schools in Mutara Sub – county – Bushenyi District. Un published. Bachelor of Education Research Report. Uganda Christian University Mukono

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The New Vision. Volume 19 No. 108P. 27

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Appendix

APPENDIX IQUESTIONNAIRE FOR HEADTEACHERS.

Please help answer the question below.

The information given will be for academic purpose and shall be treated with all the confidentiality it requires

Name of school:

Status of school: (Boarding, Day, both (tick one)

Is the school mixed, Boys, Girls(tick the correct one)

What was enrolment at the beginning of:-

(i) 2004….

(ii) 2003….

. What was the enrolment at the end of

(i) 2004 …..

(ii) 2003

What was the percentage of girls to Boys for:-

(i) 2004

(ii) 2003..

Do you experience cases of pupils leaving school before completion of primary cycle of education? …

What was the total number of dropouts in?

(a) 2004 …..

(b) 2003 .

What sex was affected most? …

What are the major causes of this dropout according to magnitude starting with the highest cause?

(i) .

(ii) …

(iii) ….

(iv) ..

Of the above factors, show those which affected

(i) Girls

(ii) Boys

(c )

At which level of primary i.e Lower, middle, upper is dropout highest?

Of the three: Parents, school administration, government policy, who do you blame for the dropout? …

What school related factors lead to pupils’ dropout of school?

(i)

(ii)

(iii)

(iv) ….

(v) …

APPENDIXINTERVIEW GUIDE FOR PARENTS.

(a) What is the rate of primary school attendance in your area?

(b) What is the rate of girl child primary school attendance in your area?

(c) With introduction of U.P.E I thought this be high.

(d) What are the possible factors that hinder/stop children from enrolling in school

(e) Let us now talk about those who go to school. Do all those who join primary one go up to primary seven?

(f) What are the reasons related to a specific sex? For example what are causes for girls and boys dropout of school?

(g) Are there reasons related to a specific sex? For example what are causes for girls and boys dropout of school?

(h) Of the two sexes – girls and boys who drop out most and why?

(i) In what ways do you think the following contribute to children dropout of school?

(i) Government policy

(ii) Parents

(iii) Others – specify.

APPENDIXINTERVIEW GUIDE FOR TEACHERS

- What comment do you give on enrolment of the school?
- Why is it so?
- How about your class?
- What is the exact enrolment of each class by sex?
- What was it at the beginning of year?
- What happened to the rest of the pupils?
- What do you consider to be the cause of dropout for girls, boys?
- Which of the sexes drop out most and why?
- Do you think there are any school related factors that could be leading to pupil dropout of school? say no provision of lunch, lack of privacy mainly for toilet facilities, repetition of classes, harassment by teachers in form of punishments etc.

APPENDIXINTERVIEW GUIDE FOR PUPILS

Pupil of upper primary will be interviewed. The purpose of this is to get the pupils own perception on factors that could lead them leave school.

- Do you like your school?
- What makes you like your school?
- What makes you dislike you school?
- What changes would you wish to be introduced in the school?
- Does the school have enough facilities for both boys and girls e.g toilets? Does this affect your stay in school?
- What facilities does the school have for girls when in periods? How about parents? Do they cater for this?
- What is the relationship between boys and girls? Do the old boys or girls tease the young ones?
- Could there be your friends who have left school because of this? How many do you know?
- What about teachers/how do they treat you. Could there be your friends who left school because of teachers. What exactly happened? Was it due to punishment, wanting to befriend them, harassment etc?
- Does the school provide lunch? Could this be the cause of some of your friends leaving school?
- How about distance from school? Does this also make some of you leave school. I mean like the young ones – can you tell me the number.

APPENDIXDOCUMENT ANALYSIS GUIDE

1. Class registers.

Consider class register from P.1, P.3, P.5 and P.7. For each of these examine:

(a) Enrolment by gender at the start of each of each year in question.

(b) Termly dropouts by gender at each level and possible reasons if known.

(c) End of year enrolments by gender noting dropouts and reason if known.

2. Ministry of education and Sports statistical returns.

(i) Number of pupils by class and gender for the years 2003 and 2004.

(ii) Number of dropouts by class, gender and reasons for the years 2003 and 2004.

(iii) Percentage dropouts of each class to the;

(a) Total enrolment.

(b) Total dropout.

(iv) Total percentage of dropout per gender per class and total enrolment.

(v) Major cause of dropout for

(a) Males at each class

(b) Females at each class

(c) Over all.

51 of 51 pages

Details

Title
Causes of pupil drop out in primary schools in Uganda
Grade
3
Author
Year
2018
Pages
51
Catalog Number
V436080
ISBN (Book)
9783668803404
Language
English
Tags
School, Dropout, Uganda, Africa, Primary, Pupil
Quote paper
Edwin Nuwagaba Babimpa (Author), 2018, Causes of pupil drop out in primary schools in Uganda, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/436080

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