Academic journal article Journal of Emerging Trends in Economics and Management Sciences

Community and School Factors Contributing to Female Students Dropouts in Public Mixed-Day Secondary Schools in Mathioya District, Kenya

Academic journal article Journal of Emerging Trends in Economics and Management Sciences

Community and School Factors Contributing to Female Students Dropouts in Public Mixed-Day Secondary Schools in Mathioya District, Kenya

Article excerpt

Abstract

This study objective was to investigate and identify the factors that contribute to female students drop out in mixed day secondary schools in Mathioya district. The purpose of the research was to come up with findings that are likely to create awareness to the administration in formulating and implementing educational policies that may minimize this problem. The importance of the study is to understand the challenges facing female students and how these can be resolved. The study was guided by feminist theory by utilizing social feminism ideology. Stratified random sampling method was used to select eight head teachers and two hundred and forty girls who participated in the study by filling pre determined questionnaires provided for each participant. Questionnaires were of two categories, one for head teachers and the other for students. Data obtained from scheduled questionnaires were coded, computed, analysed and summarized using descriptive statistics such as frequencies, percentages and mean. The study established that poverty, gender bias in schools and at home, lack of guidance and counselling on sexuality, pregnancies and indiscipline are the major factors that cause school dropout for girls. The study recommended the government, education stakeholders and community to implement existing laws and policies that enhance girl's education for high completion rates of secondary education.

Keywords: girls' education, female students' performance, gender disparity, girl child transition, culture and education.

INTRODUCTION

According to Mushi (2002), provision of education to all citizens has been challenging despite the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that entitles everyone to the right to basic education. Female education is recognized as a critical pathway in promoting social, political and economic development in any country. The dropout of girls from public schools is a result of inefficient utilization of human and economic resources by the education system (Odaga & Heneveld, 1995). When girls dropout of school it is costly in terms of their quality of life as well as to the society at large. Dropout denies female students the opportunity for employment and the means to increase their social and political participation. According to Mingat, (2002) the non-completion of schooling by females contributes to their low social status in society as well as to their reduced decision making power at the household and over their lives. The economic and social benefits of female dropout represent a significant regression in the development of nations (Kibbogy 2001).

In spite of the efforts made by African countries to increase female educational opportunities, girls' and women's access to education remains limited in several sub-Saharan African countries including Kenya. According to Ballara (2001) many girls in the region, most of who reside in rural areas in Africa are out of school due to poverty, early pregnancies, early marriages, hostile school environment and cultural beliefs among others.

Female education has been identified as more crucial for the advancement of a nation than just education in general (McMichael, 2004). It is now widely recognized that the social returns to female education greatly exceeds those of male education. This is because development cannot happen without the participation of women in society. The high level of school dropout of female students from public schools in Kenya hinders empowerment of women to participate in implementation of necessary social changes. These include: raising smaller, better nourished and healthier families; women with no education usually have more children (Moraa 1999; United Nations 2005).

Currently Kenya has a policy of free primary education introduced by the government in 2003; and a subsidized day secondary education introduced in 2008. Despite the fact that no tuition fees are paid for day secondary schools, girls still face challenges arising from community and school that force them to dropout of schools as compared to boys (Njeru & Orodho, 2003). …

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