“I failed, no matter how hard I tried”: A mixed-methods study of the role of achievement in primary school dropout in rural Kenya
Simmons-Zuilkowski, S., Jukes, M., & Dubeck, M. (2016). “I failed, no matter how hard I tried”: A mixed-methods study of the role of achievement in primary school dropout in rural Kenya. International Journal of Educational Development, 50, 100-107. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijedudev.2016.07.002
Initial access to school is nearly universal in Kenya, but many children who enroll drop out before completing primary school. In this mixed-methods study, we use quantitative data from a randomized control trial involving 2666 upper primary-grade students, as well as qualitative data from interviews with 41 schoolchildren, dropouts, and parents, to examine dropout. Poorer baseline performance on literacy and numeracy assessments predicted a higher risk of dropout. Interviews revealed that children are the primary decision-makers rather than parents. Together, these findings suggest that school quality interventions may be an effective means of reducing primary school dropout in this region.