Manafwa- The dropout rate in primary schools in Manafwa District stands at 45 per cent, the district education officer has said.
Mr Zadock Mudangi blamed the high dropout rate on parents’ negative attitude to education. Mr Mudangi told the Saturday Monitor on January 7 that the completion rate in primary education in Manafwa is very low yet the enrollment is high at 11,086 pupils in the 246 government-aided, community and private primary schools.
He said every year, the district registers high exam failure and dropout rates, especially for pupils who do not turn up for Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE). He said since 2008, a total of 1,618 pupils, especially girls registered but did not appear for PLE and 8,047 failed.
“Although we registered 124 students in Division One, 1,600 in Division Two, 1,144 in Division Three, 909 in Division Four last year, there were 1,644 pupils who failed, and 292 did not sit for examinations, which makes us one of the worst performing districts in the country,” Mr Mudangi said.
He said many under-age girls are removed from schools by their parents and married off to men
The district chairman, Mr Charles Walimbwa, reinforced Mudangi’s position that the high failure and low completion rates are caused by the parents who advise their children to leave school for petty cross-border trade in Kenya.
Retired Bishop of Mbale Diocese, the Rev Samuel Wabulakha said 95 per cent of the pupils who pass in Grade One in Manafwa come from only two private schools, with only 5 per cent coming from Shukhuyu and Ikali, two government schools.