An Assessment of Socio-Economic Factors explaining Pupil Dropout in UPE Schools of Nyabihoko Sub- County, Ntungamo District

The study established the effects of socio-economic factors on pupils’ dropout in UPE schools in Nyabihoko Sub-county Ntungamo District. It was guided by the following objectives: to establish the effects of family income on pupils’ dropout in UPE schools in Nyabihoko Sub-county, Ntungamo District; to examine the effects of parents’ literacy level on pupils’ dropout in UPE schools in Nyabihoko Sub-county, Ntungamo District; and, to establish the effects of early pregnancy on pupils’ dropout in UPE schools in Nyabihoko Sub-county, Ntungamo District. The study used a cross-sectional survey research design consisting of both qualitative and quantitative approaches of data collection and analysis. The study population consisted of teachers, head teachers, officials in the education department of Ntungamo District and parents who are members of the school management committee and PTA. A sample size of 96 respondents was used. Questionnaires and interviews were used during data collection. Statistical package for social scientists (SPSS) version 23 was used to aid the processing and summarizing of information got from the questionnaires while content analysis was used to analyse quantitative data. Findings revealed that poverty among parents has led to school dropout. It was established that the majority of parents were small-scale farmers and petty traders. Owing to poor economic status, they faced challenges in paying the extra levies that were not catered for by UPE. Their children were forced to stay away from school as they looked for the money. In many cases pupils just dropped out of school. Pupils were also forced by poverty to engage in income generating activities to supplement family income. It was also the opinion of teachers that some parents were negligent and preferred their children to drop out and get involved in coffee harvesting and in extreme cases girls got married when they were still teenagers. It was also found that parents’ level of education had a strong bearing on pupils’ school dropout in that less educated parents did not motivate their children, which discouraged them from aiming higher. The study further confirmed that early pregnancy contributed significantly towards school dropout in UPE schools in that teenage mothers were subjected to psychological torture, stigmatization and isolation made it difficult for them to remain in school. The study recommends that the government and other stakeholders in the education sector should seek to increase the funding for UPE to cater for all the school monitoring requirements in order to cushion pupils from poor economic background from dropping out of school.
A Dissertation Submitted to the Directorate of Postgraduate training in Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Award of a Master of Arts in Education Management of Kabale University
of Socio-Economic Factors , Pupil Dropout , UPE Schools