Influence of Single Parents’ Economic Status on Pupil’s Academic Performance in Primary Schools in Bondo Sub County, Kenya

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Zachayo Yieko Okumu
Ronald Kikechi Werunga
Emily Kirwok


Single parenting, households, academic performance, informal employment, education, pupils


In Kenya, the family has been regarded as a basic unit and for a long time it has been perceived to be made up of father, mother and children. It has been believed that parents and guardians responsibilities to raise their children are interrelated. Nevertheless, today a lot of households and families have either not present fathers or mothers which have led to single parent families. Therefore, this study determined the effects of single parents’ economic status on learners’ academic achievements in public primary schools. The study was guided by conflict theory. Descriptive research design was employed in the study. The target population was 3,088 from 129 public primary schools in Bondo Sub County. Yamane’s Formula was used to calculate the sample size which yielded 645 respondents consisting of 98 head teachers, 201 teachers and 346 grades 6, 7 and 8 learners. Simple random sampling was used to identify the respondents while secondary data about learners’ test scores was obtained from teachers’ end term exam records. Piloting of research instruments was conducted amongst 19 respondents from the sample to test reliability, credibility, validity and dependability. A pilot study was undertaken to assess validity and reliability of the research instrument. Data was analyzed descriptively using percentages, frequencies, mean, standard deviation and analysis using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) Version 24 and results were presented using charts, tables and graphs. The chi-squared test (χ2) was employed to assess the association between two variables at a significance level of p<0.05. There was a significant statistical relationship between single parents’ source of income and their learner’s academic performance (χ2=0.000, N=346, p<0.05). Also, majority of respondents agreed that informal-employed parents could not meet their children's school demands. This meant that students with paid or self-employed single parents can acquire the school resources they need more easily than those with struggling parents. The study recommended that the stakeholders need to identify vulnerable families like single parenting households and offer them education support and empowerment economically.



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