One of the goals of education policies of the government of Kenya is to attain 100% transition and retention rates of students in secondary schools. However, as transition rates keep improving, student retention has persistently remained low in Public Secondary Schools in Kisii County, Kenya. Failure to retain students in schools can be considered as a waste of potential human, time and financial resources. the objective of the study was to establish the relationship between student motivation practices and retention in Public Secondary Schools in Kisii County, Kenya. . A sample of 35 Public Secondary Schools was selected for the study using Multi-stage sampling technique. The study sample was 455 respondents comprised of 420 students and 35 Principals. A pilot test of the instruments was conducted in four Public Secondary Schools Reliability of the instruments was tested using split-half technique and Spearman-Brown prophecy formula. A coefficient of 0.8 in the student questionnaires was obtained. All
Ethical considerations were put into account throughout the study period. Quantitative data was analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics while qualitative data was analyzed thematically. The study findings showed that there was a strong and positive correlation between student motivation practices (r=.717) and retention in public secondary schools The correlation was found to be statistically significant at 0.05 alpha level. Regression analysis showed that 63.7% of variations in the student retention were predictable from student motivation practices. The findings were presented using tables,pie charts, bar graphs and in textual forms.the study improved student motivation practices with a view to improving student retention. The recommendation of the study was that the Government should strengthen measures of ensuring good student motivation practices in public secondary schools, so as to improve on the student retention rates.
Key Concepts: Student Motivation Practices, Principals, Retention rate, Public