THE IMPACT OF TUTION FEES ON PUPIL’S ENROLLMENT AND RETENTION IN PUPLIC SECONDARY SCHOOL

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THE IMPACT OF TUTION FEES ON PUPIL’S ENROLLMENT AND RETENTION IN PUPLIC SECONDARY SCHOOL.

Table of Contents

ABSTRACT

The purpose of study was to investigate the influence of tuition free secondary educational subsidy on students’ participation rates in secondary schools in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. The study aimed at achieving the following objectives; to determine the effect of tuition free secondary education subsidy on equity in students’ enrollment, dropout rates, retention rates, and completion rates in public secondary education. The study was based on Human capital theory developed by Schultz in 1971. The study adopted descriptive survey design a method. The study targeted all the 18 schools in the Uyo, 18 principals from the schools, twenty-six class teachers and one thousand one hundred and thirty-eight form three students. Ten are mixed public secondary school and were purposively selected for this study. Ten Principals from the schools and twenty-six class teachers were also purposively selected for the study from the Uyo. The sample size of 30 percent of the students’ population Out of 1138 students from form 3 targeted for the study, 700 were boys while 438 were girls. The sample therefore included 210 boys and 131 girls. Simple random sampling was then done in each school visited. Questionnaires were used to gather information from the teachers and students while interview schedule was used to collect data from the Principals. Piloting of the instruments was done in one school which did not participate in the study. Content validity were undertaken to ascertain whether the content to the questionnaires. The researcher visited the schools and introduced herself to the Principals and booked appointment for data collection. A correlation coefficient of 0.74, 0.78, and 0.71 was obtained from the questionnaire for principals, teachers and students respectively, which showed that the instruments were highly reliable. Collected date were analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively and results presented in frequency distribution tables and interpreted to answer on the study objective. The findings of the study were intended to be benefit the government to adequately subsidize secondary education as well as the ministry of education in ensuring equity in distribution of educational resources. The findings were presented using frequency distribution tables and bar graphs. The results showed that effective and efficient utilization of tuition free subsidy led to increased equity in enrollment rates of students in secondary education. It was established that tuition free secondary education subsidy reduced students’ dropout rates. The study revealed that tuition free secondary education subsidy increased students’ retention rates indicated by reduced repetition rates. The study established that the subsidy was very effective in increasing completion rates. The study recommended that the subsidy be increased to cover levies for lunch and school uniforms and should be disbursed on time. Finally, the study concluded that tuition free secondary education subsidy played a very important role in increasing students’ participation rates in secondary education.

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

 

1.1                                         Background to the study

 Education greatly determines the social, cultural, political and economic development of a country (UNESCO, 2014). It’s a means for training human resource that forms an important source of human capital. Higher participation rate in secondary education is significantly correlated to economic growth, social development and to the realization of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (UNESCO, 2014), on improvement in individual earnings, decline in fertility and child mortality and increase in overall health and nutritional levels of a nation. UNESCO, (2014) considered dropout in education sector as a loss to a nation and that it shows unfulfilled aim, goal and objective for an individual and the community. Students who drop out at secondary level means a great loss of potential future work force to a country. This justifies the higher expenditure on education by many national governments which is estimated to be between 4 to 6 percent of their GDP (Martinez & Terway, 2016).

Many countries allocate huge financial resources to education mainly because education is a basic need to human beings. The right to education can be traced to the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) article 26 which declared that; everyone has the right to education and that it shall be free at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Basic education is embedded in the developing countries’ constitutional frameworks as a fundamental human right that does not necessarily stipulate abolition of school fees (Akyeampong, 2011). A report from UNESCO (2007) revealed that one in every five countries was not able to constitutionally guarantee free and compulsory primary education which translated that the proportion rises to one in three in North America as well as Western Europe.

In USA, secondary education is provided for free by the government. The subsidy is at three echelons: the federal local, and state governments. Local authorities funding of education varies depending on regions due to disparities in the economies of states similarly, investment in education within the same state differs. While in Canada school fees are integrated in the education system, the government finds that there are parents not able to afford school fees. This inability makes the government to intervene in the provision subsidy education ensuring no child gets denied access to education (Khamati & Nyongesa, 2013). In the UK, conditional cash transfers paid to 16 to 18-year old was very effective in reducing dropout rates, it increased full time participation rates to 4.5 percent in the first year and 6.7 percent for those receiving two years of education. (Dearden et al, 2005).

Some countries such as Chile and Columbia offer educational vouchers for private secondary schools. The vouchers in Columbian schools saw 86 percent of voucher winners being promoted to sixth grade compared to 80 percent of losers (Angrist, 2006). Introduction of free schools financed through voucher system in Sweden resulted in increased expansion of non-public school sector. It increased the number of pupils in free schools from 20,247 in 1995/96 to 95,948 pupils in 2009/10 (Wilborg, 2010).

Secondary education in many Asian Pacific countries is considered part of basic education and is provided legally free UNESCO (2013). For example, in 1954, free compulsory education in South Korea got introduced but was gradually rolled out over six-year period. The initiative was supported by an institution of the Education Tax Act of 1958 and remote aid. Through this policy education saw increased enrollment with net enrollment rate of 88 percent in the year 2002/2003 (UNESCO, 2013). Some countries use targeted measures to increase students’ participation in school, for instance in Mongolia children from families below poverty line receive free school bags, stationery and textbooks, while in Bangladesh secondary education was made free for girls to reduce gender inequality. In Philippines in the year 2001, each student was granted US 1000 dollar per year and this led to increased enrollment in 1990s from 0.2 million to 2.4 million students in 2004 (Aysegun, 2004; Susan, 2003). These measures were aimed at effectively improving enrollment, retention and reducing dropout rates in the countries (UNESCO, 2013).

Egyptian government took up the responsibility of financing and supervising education since 1950s and aimed at achieving principles of justices, equality and equal opportunity (UNESCO, 2014). The cost of education is Nigeria shared between the government and the parents and where parents are not able to meet the costs, the children may not enroll or may drop out despite the government funding (Adan & Orodho, 2015; Khamati & Wesonga, 2013).

Free Secondary Education in Tanzania was to give opportunity to children from low income families and at the same time reduce parents ‘school fees and other contributions (Asankha and Takashi, 2011). Thus, there was increased enrollment of students from poor families and reduced teacher parent conflict over fee contribution. Tanzania’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as per 2015/16 budget stood at Tshs. 23 trillion, out of this it spends 3.5% of GDP on education. Increase in budgetary allocation to secondary education led to increasing in enrollment from 6.7% to 32.7% from the year 2003-2014 respectively. Because of increased financing of education, completion rates in the lower secondary improved from 14.2 to 35.1 percent in the year 2008 to 2013 respectively (UNICEF, 2015).

Introduction of universal secondary education in Uganda increased participation rates by 90 percent up from 150,000 to 380,000 students (Asankha and Takashi, 2011) and enrollment of girls from poor households increased. Even though education has traditionally been free in Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia, a supplementary of beyond a half of the total costs of secondary education is funded by parents (Lewin, 2008). Some students may however drop out of school due to inability to pay the school fees, hampering attainment of the objective of free secondary education.

Free secondary Education in Nigeria was officially launched in the year 2008 and was implemented through sessional paper number 6 of 1988 (GOK, 1888) to address issues of accessibility, retention and completion rates. Enrollment rates in secondary education have continued to rise for instance gross enrollment rate increased from 58.7 percent in 2014 to 62.9 percent in 2015 (Economic survey, 2016). This increase is attributed to availability of educational subsidies. Free secondary education forms part of the cost sharing policy of 1988 (GoK, 1988). The policy was to reduce the cost burden on the government, while ensuring cost effectiveness in the utilization of educational facilities, equipment, materials, and personnel, with a view to maintaining the growth, quality, and relevance of education and training. The cost of education according to the policy was to be shared between the public Sector and parents/guardians (GoK, 1988), whereby parents/guardians contributed 60 percent, while the government contributed 40 percent of the total expenditure of secondary school education (Mwangie, 2012). Parents contributed towards cost of physical infrastructure as well as tuition, boarding, transport and uniforms whereas, the government’s contribution included the cost of professional development of teachers, teachers’ remuneration in public institutions, and support of infrastructure development, administration and management, and provision of subsidies including capitation grants for Free Secondary education (FSE), bursaries, scholarships and constituency development fund (CDF).

This notwithstanding, the study by Khamati and Nyongesa, (2013) found out that free secondary education finances were distributed to schools based on the number of learners in the school a method that disadvantaged the schools with few students and favored already established schools, and those with many students enjoyed economies of scale. This method of distributing the tuition subsidy did not consider regional disparities and inflationary effects. Since the fund is horizontally distributed to each student enrolled in public secondary school, it does not guarantee equity since both the students from the rich and the disadvantaged get equal allocations from the government fund.

The revised school fees structure Matiangi, (2016), government subsidy for tuition was Kshs. 12,870 per student per year. Out of this Kshs. 4,792 is allocation for teaching learning resources and examination. Parents/guardians contribute Kshs. 53,554 for boarding schools and Kshs. 9,374 for day schools to Ksh. 12,870 which translate to 19.4 percent and 57.8 percent respectively (MOEST, 2015). The subsidy was later increased to Ksh 22,272 per student for both day scholars and boarders and effected at the beginning of the year 2018. The aim was to make day schools totally free and relief parents the burden of paying school fees. This is evident that parents’/guardians’ contribution to secondary education is higher and some students especially from low socio- economic backgrounds may not be able to meet the school fees.

Dropout is a case where children leave school before completing prescribed cycle of education (Mudenb, 2013). High poverty levels in many households have led to students’ dropping out from schools to search for employment to supplement family incomes (Nyawada, 2015). Many strategies have been put in place to enhance retention rates in secondary education in many countries of the world including Nigeria. Retention involves learner participation in learning even to completion of the four-year cycle (Asena et al. 2016). High enrollment rate was not consistent with completion rates due to inadequate physical facilities which are not developed to meet the increasing demand for secondary education and school funds which are a challenge because parents are still expected to meet educational costs (Kinaro, 2015). Although tuition free educational subsidy has contributed to the increased enrollment and retention rates of students in public secondary schools, there are still several students who dropout. The table below shows the national participation rates of students in consecutive transition periods from the year 2011 to 2017.

Table 0.1: Enrollment, transition and dropout rates of students in secondary schools in Nigeria

Years Form 1 Form 2 Form 3 Form 4
2011 445300
2012 489900 443900
2013 521600 460000 413000
2014 532100 513900 457400 411300
2015 542000 496100 448700
2016 537900 461600
2017 507400

Source: GoK (2017), Economic Survey

 

Table 0.2: Number of students’ dropout

 

Years Form 2 Form 3 Form 4
2012 1400
2013 29900 30900
2014 7700 2600 1700
2015 +9800* 17800 8700
2016 4000 34500
2017 30500

Source: GoK (2017), Economic Survey

 

The two tables show four transition periods from when a student is enrolled in form one to when he or she completes form four. It shows that students participation rates in Nigeria from the year 2011 to 2017 increased (Table 1.1), however, dropout rates in consecutive years of transition continued to increase leading to reduced completion rates. Dropout rates increased over the four transition periods from 2011 to 2017 (Table 1.2), however, in the year 2015- 2016, form two the number of students increased. Similarly, in Uyo, the data from seven public schools over three transition periods shows that there are still students who enroll and are unable to complete the four-year secondary school cycle (Table 1.3).

Table 0.3: Students’ enrollment and completion rates in Uyo

Transition period Students enrolled Completion Dropout %
2011-2014 970 770 200 21
2012-2015 1047 977 70 7
2013-2016 1032 947 85 8

Source: Kasarani Sub- County data

 

The data above (Table 1.2) shows the number of students who enrolled and completed secondary education in three transition periods from year 2011 to 2016 in Uyo. The total number of students who completed the four-year cycle is lower compared to those who enrolled, for instance between 2011 to 2014, 200 students did not complete the four-year cycle representing 21 percent of those enrolled. This is an indication of an underlying problem that affects student’s participation in secondary education in the Uyo. This therefore prompted the researcher to find out the extent to which effective and efficient utilization of tuition free secondary education subsidy has contributed to students’ participation rates in the Uyo.

 

1.2                                           Statement of the problem

The cost of education in Nigeria has continued to escalate over the years due to rising cost of living (Mauluko & Muhavi, 2013) and that many people from the low-income group are finding it difficult to maintain their children in secondary school which hampers gains made on participation rates. The introduction of government education subsidies in secondary education was a measure taken to cushion parents from high costs of education and to increase access, retention and completion rates in school (Republic of Nigeria, 2012). The government has put in place several other measures such as educational bursaries targeted to support the needy students and waiver of examination fees. The Nigeria government has also introduced physical infrastructure fund for construction of classrooms, dormitories, sanitation and libraries and has set up numerous secondary schools. Though enrollment rates and transition rates have been increasing in Nigerian education since introduction of tuition free secondary education, there are still several students who do not complete their secondary education. Several studies on this area have concentrated on influence on implementation of Tuition waiver, effect of bursaries and Constituency development fund and students’ enrollment as well as retention and completion rates in secondary schools (Mwangie, 2012; Khamati & Nyongesa, 2013; Nyawada, 2015). Studies on the effect of tuition free secondary educational subsidy have not been done in Uyo.

The researcher therefore critically analyzed the effectiveness of tuition free secondary educational subsidy in ensuring full participation of students in secondary education in Uyo.

 

1.3                                         Purpose of the study

The purpose of study was to investigate the influence of tuition free secondary educational subsidy on students’ participation rates in secondary schools in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.

 

 

1.4                                         Research Objectives

 

The study aimed at achieving the following objectives

 

  1. To determine the effect of tuition free secondary education subsidy on equity in students’ enrollment in public secondary education in
  2. To establish the effects of tuition free secondary education subsidy on students’ dropout rates in public secondary schools in Uyo.
  • To assess the effects of tuition free secondary education subsidy on students’ retention rates in public secondary schools in Uyo.
  1. To determine the effect of tuition free secondary education on completion rates in public secondary education in

 

1.5                                         Research questions

 

The study was guided by the following questions

 

  1. To what extent does tuition free secondary education subsidy influence equity in enrollment rates in public secondary schools in Uyo?
  2. What is the effect of tuition free secondary education subsidy on dropout rates in secondary education in Uyo?
  • To what extent does tuition free secondary education subsidy affect retention rates of students in public secondary schools in Uyo?
  1. What is the effect of tuition free secondary subsidy on completion rates of students in Kasarani Sub- County?

 

1.6                                         Significance of the study

 

The findings of this study may help the government to adequately subsidize secondary school education to enhance equal access to quality education by all secondary school going age and maximize their participation in schools. It is also hoped that the findings will further be useful to the Ministry of education in ensuring equitable distribution of educational resources, effectively and efficiently utilize of educational subsidies to achieve maximum students’ participation in secondary education. The findings may also help the school administrators to make necessary changes in the utilization of schools’ resources to improve their internal efficiency and promote students’ participation.

 

1.7                                         Limitations of the study

The study required gathering information on enrollment, transition and completion rates from different schools in some schools these records were missing. Some respondents took too long to return the questionnaires and others kept losing the instruments. To overcome these challenges and persistently that the findings were only to be used in the study.

 

1.8                                         Delimitations of the study

 

The study was carried out in Uyo in public secondary schools, in Akwa Ibom State. Only tuition free secondary education subsidy is the subject of study as the only subsidy without considering other government subsidies. The information from the principals, class teachers and selected form three students from questionnaires and interview schedule were used make generalization.

 

1.9                                         Assumptions of the study

 

The study was based on the following assumptions:

 

  1. That there are proper records of enrolment and completion rates and record of the use of government funding in the secondary schools by the administrators
  2. That the respondents shall be ready to give their responses to the questionnaires within the time limit.
  • That the students and are aware of the government finances allocated to them.

 

1.10                                         Definitions of significant terms

Dropout rates refer to the percentage of students who enroll in secondary education but exit before completion of the four-year cycle as per Nigerian education system.

Education subsidy is Government capitation grant provided for financing secondary education in Nigeria.

Enrollment refers to students that get admitted to secondary schools at specific grades

Equity refers to justice and fairness in allocation of tuition free secondary education subsidy irrespective of gender, socio- economic background and region.

Influence refers to the extent of the effect of tuition free secondary educational subsidy on students’ participation rates.

Participation rate refers students’ involvement in secondary education indicated by enrollment rates, dropout rates, retention rates and completion rates

Tuition Free secondary education fund is a capitation grand provided by the government and is allocated to each student who enrolls in public secondary education in Nigeria.

THE IMPACT OF TUTION FEES ON PUPIL’S ENROLLMENT AND RETENTION IN PUPLIC SECONDARY SCHOOL

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