An evaluation of the school feeding programme: a case of Wamba division,Samburu county,Kenya.
Education is considered a basic right and a basic need. Most governments are committed to achieve Education For All by 2015. Primary education is the first phase of formal education system. There has been a problem of gender parity in education, enrollment, retention and examination performance due to childhood malnutrition among other factors. The Kenyan government introduced School Feeding Programme in 1980 to curb childhood malnutrition and as result, increase enrollment, retention, gender parity and examination performance in primary schools. Despite the government intervention, enrollment, retention, gender parity and examination performance are still wanting in primary schools where School Feeding Programs are implemented. It is in this light that this study sought to evaluate whether the objectives of School Feeding Programme have been achieved in Wamba Division of Samburu County in Kenya. The research objectives were: To assess whether SFP enhances gender parity, to establish the impact of SFP in examination performance, to evaluate whether SFP influences enrolment and to determine whether SFP influences retention of pupils in primary schools. Research questions were set as per the objectives. The study findings are significant in that Ministry of Education and World Food Programme officers will re-assess the implementation of SFP and address the identified factors that hinder the achievement of the objectives. The study utilized a descriptive survey research design. The researcher carried out a census of all the 24 Public Primary Schools in Wamba Division and targeted the 24 head teachers and 1 District School Meals Program Officer (DSMPO) as the respondents. Questionnaires for head teachers and an interview guide for DSMPO were used. The research instruments were validated using university supervisors. The reliability of the research instruments were found to be 0.6 after piloting and were reconstructed and piloted again in other two different schools in the same division after which a correlation coefficient of 0.75 was obtained using Spearman-Brown prophecy formula. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics as per the research objectives, which included frequencies and percentages. The results were presented by use of frequency tables. The study established that SFP has influenced gender parity in primary schools to a less extent. This is because the Samburu community upholds social and cultural practices which are barriers to girls’ access to education. However, study findings revealed that SFP has a high influence in enrolment, retention and examination performance in Public Primary Schools. Poor storage, underweight commodities supplied to schools and lack of money to pay off loaders were cited among others as challenges to implementation of SFP and subsequent failure to achievement of SFP objectives. The study revealed that other than SFP, creating awareness in the local community on the importance of education through local media and chiefs’ barazas would also boosts enrollment, retention and gender parity. Among the recommendation of the study was that there should be enforcement of laws that govern the provision of basic education to all especially girl child at school going age to uphold gender parity in schools. Finally, this study suggested that a similar research evaluating whether the objectives of SFP have been achieved to be carried out in other counties which are under SFP to elicit a more accurate national outlook on this study.
- School of Education