MANDATORY SCHOOL UNIFORM POLICY AND STUDENTS’ SCHOOL ATTENDANCE IN LANGATA SUB-COUNTY, NAIROBI-KENYA
Purpose of the Study: the influence of mandatory school uniform policy on students’ attendance in Langata Sub-County secondary schools.
Statement of the Problem: Uniform has always been believed to have benefits include, improve academic performance, discipline, attendance, retention and most of all cement the gap between rich and the poor through the use of unified dress colour and styles. Upon these, the former President of Kenya made a mandatory school uniform policy pronouncement supported by the Nairobi Court on the use of the school uniforms. He called the students to dress appropriately, or else risk dismissal at the discretion of their teacher. This pronouncement infringed the fundamentals students’ human right of freedom of participation and expression. Many students, parents, teachers and principal’s complaint of indiscipline, misused of drugs and poor school performance in some schools in Kenya including Langata Sub-county secondary schools and the cost of school uniforms has escalated and become an added burden for parents and students yet not empirical study has been conducted to aid school authorities to remedy the situation.
Research Methodology: The study used mixed method research paradigms. Specifically, triangulation concurrent method of quantitative cross sectional and qualitative phenomenology research designs was used. The target population is 28,290 and the sample size of the study was 253 respondents obtained from principals 23, teachers 92, parents 46, and students 92. Questionnaires, interview guides and document analysis guide were the main tools for data collection. Data was analyzed by the use of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 23, descriptive and inferential statistics such as, pie chart slices and regression analysis respectively. Qualitative data was analyzed by the use of content analysis techniques and thematic approach.
Results: The findings revealed that there was positive and significant relationship between mandatory school uniform policy and students’ school attendance (β=0.864, p=0.000).
Conclusion: The study concluded that wearing school uniforms primarily serves to distinguish members/nonmembers, such distinction is very important in the school environment since the inclusion of students in the school environment is one of the essential conditions of their successful school attendance. The study concluded that mandatory school uniform policy in secondary schools in Langata Sub County positively and significantly influences students’ attendance.
Recommendations: The study hence recommended that the managements of secondary schools in Langata Sub County should strive to enforce the law regarding school uniforms in their schools because school uniform has been found to improve attendance among students in secondary schools. Additionally, the government of Kenya through the ministry of education should put in place legislations guiding wearing of school uniform in all schools in Kenya whether public or private schools to avoid the unnecessary debates regarding mandatory school uniform in Kenya.
Keywords: Mandatory, Uniform, Policy, Attendance, Langata, Kenya.
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