Gender based challenges encountered by female students in school based Bachelor of Education programme at Kenyan private universities, Kenya.
Maguta, Elizabeth Waithira
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School based education programmes are becoming a common way to acquire knowledge different from the traditional method of attending the classroom. This programme is being promoted by many universities as a way to cater for the needs of professional development of teachers, as well as to conserve academic and administrative resources such as classroom space, capacity and time. Because of traditional, social, religious affiliations the school based programme has been seen as a potential solution to help women achieve their educational goals. However, to date women students still encounter gender related problems in the bachelor of education in the school based in programme in Kenya Methodist University. The purpose of the intended study was to find out gender related problems encountered by female students enrolled in the school based bachelor of education programme at Kenyan private universities. The objectives of the study were to; find out institutional, situational and dispositional challenges encountered by female students and suggest intervention measures that can be put in place. The study adopted descriptive survey research design. The target population comprised of all female learners enrolled in the school based Bachelor of Education programmes in private universities. The study employed simple random and purposive sampling technique to sample a total of 340 respondents from 10 universities that offer school based education Bachelor of Education programmes. The number of respondents to be included in the study was calculated according to the population of each respective university. Data was collected using self-scoring questionnaires. A pilot study was conducted to ascertain the reliability and expert judgment was used to establish validity of the instruments. Data collected from respondents was be analyzed using descriptive statistics and inferential with the help of the computer package, SPSS. The findings of the study were presented in form of frequency distributions, graphs and tables. The study findings were; private universities lack appropriate management structural frameworks to implement gender policies. On institutional challenges 59.6% indicated that hostel services were not responsive to expectant and lactating students while 68.5% said that school based teaching schedules were not sensitive to gender needs. Situational challenges include; lack of adequate time for studies (44.3%), lack support from employers (20.2%) and lack of flexible time schedules (28.0%) Dispositional challenges include; having attitudes that inhibit participation in learning (85. 7%), I 00% of the students had poor academic background and lack peers to emulate in the community. The findings of this study may provide useful information to address gender related issues affecting learners enrolled in the school based Bachelor of Education programmes in private universities. The study recommends need for the private universities' management to put physical and social services responsive to gender needs of female students in the school based programme.