A study of factors influencing educational and occupational aspirations among secondary school students in Nyandarua district
Kinyanjui, Joyce W
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The main objective of this study was to investigate factors which influence educational and occupational aspirations of secondary school students in Nyandarua District, Kenya. The hypotheses guiding the study were that students' social background, personal and school related factors influence their educational and occupational aspirations. These factors were considered to be important since they have not been investigated in Nyandarua District. The subjects for this study were 279 form two students who were the first secondary school students under the 8-4-4 education system. They came from five secondary schools selected .from Nyandarua District. The data for the study were collected from September to November, 1987. A twenty item questionnaire was used to collect the data. The questionnaire was administered to the subjects in their respective schools. The results for the study indicated that majority of the students (77.1 %) hoped to continue their education after completing secondary school education (12 years of formal education) . They had high educational aspirations. About a quarter (22.9%) of them did not hope to continue their education after form four level of education. Regarding occupational aspirations, about half (52.3%) of the respondents had low occupational aspirations. They indicated that they would like to join· occupations which do not require University education as entry requirement. One hundred and thirty three (47.7%) of the respondents had high occupational aspirations. They indicated that they hoped to join occupations which require University education. The results of testing the hypotheses indicated that there was no significant relationship between students' social background factors ( student s' residence, marriage type of students' fathers, family size, fathers' education and occupation, mother-s' education and occupation) and their educational and occupational as pi rations. However, a significant relationship was found between students! perceived academic ability, the type of school attended (single sex/mixed), age and their educational aspirations. No significant relationship was found between the three variables (school type, age, students' perceived academic ability) and the students' occupational aspirations. Further analysis of the data revealed that there was no significant relationship between students' sex and their educational aspirations. But there was a significant relationship between students I sex and their occupational aspirations. All hypotheses were tested for significance at 0.05 level of confidence. On the basis of the findings the following conclusions and recommendations were made: Proper guidance and counseling services should be offered to students in secondary schools from as early as when they join form one. Such a service will help students in adjusting their aspirations to their realities so that they do not get frustrated when their aspirations are not achieved. Female students in secondary schools should be informed of the kind of jobs and occupations that exist in the labour market and those that they are illegible to join. They should be encouraged to join careers such as engineering, medicine, law, which are traditionally considered as a "man's job". They should be made to understand that if they qualify to join institutions that offer courses leading to occupations in these areas they will not be discriminated by our educational system on the basis of their sex. Teachers and career masters should keep progressive records of the academic achievement of students under their care. Such information will assist them in guiding and advising the students on the career choices available to them. It will also help the students make rational decisions on the level of education that they can attain and careers that they can join after formal education. In conclusion it was recommended that: (1) Studies be undertaken at inter-district, provincial or national level on the factors influencing educational and occupational aspirations of secondary school students. These will ensure a large sample and a broader scope. Such studies will also shed light on the problems experience by secondary school students when their aspirations are being formed. (2) Studies be conducted to examine other factors such as peer influence, parental income, parents' interest in students schooling which may influence educational and occupational aspirations of secondary school students. (3) A follow-up study should be conducted when the present form two students complete form four. This should be done in order to find out whether their aspirations will change or whether they wiII be more rational as they become older in age. (4) A follow-up study. should be conducted to establish the career which students who participated in the study will join in relation to their secondary school occupational aspirations. (5) More research should be done to investigate how aspirations are formed and how students can be helped in the formation of their aspirations. Parents, students and teachers should also be interviewed.
SponsorhipUniversity of Nairobi
Department of Sociology, University of Nairobi
SubjectEducational & Occupational Aspirations
Secondary school students