• George Areba Ngwacho Kabarak University
  • Theodore M.O Ayodo
  • Benard Chemwei




Hidden costs, transition rates, completion rates, Kisii County.


One of the major challenges facing secondary education sector in Kenya over the years is low transition and completion rates. The initiation of Free Primary Education (FPE) in 2003 and Free Secondary Education (FSE) in 2007 in Kenya has enhanced enrollment but still a wide gap exists between primary and secondary enrolment. Financing secondary education is a great challenge to both government and households. In Kenya, whereas households meet a negligible cost to cater for Free Primary Education, it is not clearly established how much they pay for Free Secondary Education. Thus cost is a key barrier to transition to secondary school especially for the poor. The study sought to establish the effects of hidden costs in the provision of Free Secondary Education on transition and completion rates in Kisii County. The objective of the study was to establish the effect of the hidden costs on students completion rates in public boarding schools in Kisii County.  This study was based on Classical Liberal Theory of Equal opportunities advanced by Sherman and Wood (1982) cited by Njeru & Orodho (2003) which expresses the view that each child possesses inborn talents which accelerate them to social promotion hence there should be equal opportunities in all educational systems and such systems should be designed without any barriers like socio-economic factors, socio-cultural factors, geographical factors, and school-based factors which prevent learners from taking advantage of their inborn talents. The study used correlational research design which assisted to assess the effect of hidden costs of FSE on students’ transition and completion rates among boarding schools in Kisii County. The target population was 60 head teachers from 60 public boarding secondary schools in Kisii County, 641 class teachers and 240 PTA class representatives. Krejcie and Morgan’s (1970) scientific statistical table, stratified and simple random sampling was used to select the required sample for the study of 52 head teachers, 234 class teachers and 148 PTA representatives. Prior to the study, a pilot study was conducted to ensure validity and reliability of the research instruments. Questionnaires and interview schedules were used to collect data. The data was then analyzed by use of regression analysis from which frequencies, averages, and percentages were generated and presented in tables, bar graphs and pie charts. Thematic analysis was used to analyze qualitative data. Pearson’s correlation was used to measure the degree of the relationship. Statistical tests were done at α=0.05. It was found that a significant positive relationship exited between hidden costs and students’ transition and completion rates. This implies that though the introduction of FSE programme has greatly reduced the financial burden of public secondary school going students, parents still incur some hidden costs which to some extent contribute to low transition and completion rates. It was recommended that since the established hidden costs negatively affect   access, the Government of Kenya should increase FSE budgetary allocation to schools to ease parents’ burden. 


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Author Biography

George Areba Ngwacho, Kabarak University

PhD Student school of TEA Kabarak University


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How to Cite

George Areba Ngwacho, Theodore M.O Ayodo, & Benard Chemwei. (2016). EFFECTS OF HIDDEN COSTS IN FREE SECONDARY EDUCATION ON TRANSITION AND COMPLETION RATES IN PUBLIC BOARDING SCHOOLS IN KISII COUNTY, KENYA. Kabarak Journal of Research & Innovation, 4(1), 20–29. https://doi.org/10.58216/kjri.v4i1.26

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