Factors influencing enrolment of girls in public secondary schools in Kieni west district, Nyeri County Kenya.
Mathenge, Githithu James
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Education enables individuals and society to make an all round participation in the developmental process, by acquiring knowledge, ability, skills and attitudes. Education is one of the critical sources to the alleviation of poverty. The Kenyan educational policy embraces the Jomtien Declaration of 1990, which officially pronounced EFA irrespective of sex, religion, ethnic, social or economic status' (Global Campaign for Education [GCE], 2005).The Ministry of Education (MOE) endeavors to eliminate gender disparity and promote social equity through provision of basic education to all, including girls. However, girls' participation in schools have been below that of boys especially in Kieni West. This study therefore aimed at investigating factors that influence enrolment of girls in Kieni West district. Three research questions were designed to guide the study. The questions sought how socio cultural practices affect girl child participation in schools and how student characteristics affect girls participation in schools. Again, the questions sought to establish effect of school environmental factors and their influence on girl participation in school. The study employed descriptive survey method. The target population was 14 headteachers, 300 teachers and 5,200 students. The study sampled 21.43% of the secondary schools headteachers (3). To sample the students, 10% formed the base for the sample in the district while 20% formed the base for the sample of the teachers. This implies that there will be 240 (2400 /10) students forming the sample for the study. The researcher purposefully sampled the form four students since they had been in the schools for a longer time hence were better informed. Once the raw data was obtained from the respondents, it was checked for completeness. Questionnaires that were not filled were not included in the analysis. Once checked, data was entered in the Microsoft Excel Package for Windows which generated the frequencies and percentages which were used in the analysis. The study found that poverty and peer pressure affected the girl student enrollment in the area of study. It was also found that poor student/teacher relationship, punishments, lack of physical facilities and poor performance were the school environmental factors affecting girl participation in secondary school education in Kieni West District, Kenya. Lastly, it was found that truancy, distance from school, male abuse and indiscipline were cited as the student related issues affecting girl education in the area of study. The study made several recommendations. It was recommended that the community should work together to find poverty and create wealth so as to alleviate its effect on girl education. Another recommendation was that the school administrators should address the school environmental factors that affected the girl child in pursuit to education. Lastly, it was recommended that all the school education stakeholders in the area of study should seek dialogue with the female students ivith the aim of finding what the girls find impending to their educational pursuits.