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The secondary schools bursary scheme was introduced by the Government in the
1993/1994 financial year. It was issued directly from the Ministry of Education to Schools to
enhance access, ensure retention and reduce disparities and inequalities in the provision of
secondary school education. In 2003 Ministry of Science Education and Technology in line with
government policy on decentralization, devolution and empowerment of communities, suggested
that from financial year 2003/2004, the funds would be administered to constituency and district
levels (MOEST, 2003).Fortunately, the same year NARC government came up with a secondary
school bursary scheme for the same purpose though it was by CDF with funds from the Ministry
of Planning. In particular, both bursaries are targeted at students from poor families, those in
slum areas, those living under difficult conditions, those from pockets of poverty in high
potential areas, districts in Arid and semi-arid lands (ASAL), orphans and the girl child. This
study sought to examine the impact of bursary schemes on retention of students in public
secondary schools in Gem District. The study was guided by the following objectives: To assess
how adequacy of bursary schemes fund impact on retention of students; to examine the extent to
which consistency of bursary schemes fund impact on retention of students; to assess how socio
economic background of students impact on retention of students in public secondary schools; to
determine the level at which public sensitization on bursary schemes impact on retention of
students. The study was guided by the theory of socialist economics of education. A theory
whose proponent is Louis Blanc. The theory emphasizes the need to create an economy that
redistributes income from the rich to the poor so as to create equality of being. The study sourced
requisite data from 322 students‟ beneficiaries, 24 senior teachers and 12 Principals. The
respondents were drawn using a combination of random and purposive sampling procedures. The
study adopted descriptive design which was used to analyze primary data. Data was analyzed
using frequency distributions, cross tabulations with SPSS and MS-Excel software packages.
Qualitative data in form of experiences, opinions and suggestions, were analyzed using
qualitative procedures and were used to strengthen quantitative findings. The results of the study
indicated that majority of beneficiaries were funded from CDF 78% and then followed by
SESBAF 14%.Similarly, other students received both 6%. Bearing this in mind it found out that
the total fees was too high as compared to the bursary that this providers were giving out being
KES 3000 for day scholars and KES 5000/8000 for boarders. Even so, there were very strong
convictions that bursary schemes were only supplementing students‟ fees and not generally
paying school fees wholesomely. On the contrary, the data collected from schools further
revealed that significantly higher number of beneficiaries 63% got bursary from other bursary
providers, well-wishers and parents supplement respectively. Further findings revealed that
students were not assured of continuous funding and that the disbursements were not in line with
the school calendar year. This therefore motivated this study to recommend for allocation of
more funds to constituencies and financing of a few beneficiaries adequately to completion,
disbursement of funds to constituencies in line with schools calendar year. On the same note,
without good governance and efficient management of Constituency Bursary Committees in
relation to allocation of bursaries to beneficiaries in schools and financial management in
particular, investment in education from any source would not bear the necessary fruits.
Consequently, a research could be carried out to investigate the impact of NGO bursary scheme
on retention of students in public secondary schools and a further study on school initiative
programmes to ensure students retention in public secondary schools.

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