Influence of Socio-economic Factors on Girls' Completion Rates in Secondary School Education in Chepalungu Sub-county, Bomet County, Kenya
The purpose of the study was to investigate factors influencing girls’ completion rates in secondary education in Chepalungu Sub County in Bomet County. It was guided by the research objectives to determine how early marriage, parents’ level of education, family income and costs of education influence girls’ completion rates in secondary education in Chepalungu Sub County. The study was guided by human capital theory postulated by Becker in 1964 that education improves human productivity. The research adopted descriptive survey design with target population comprising 57 public secondary schools, 57 principals, 428 TSC teachers and 8277 student girls. Stratified random sampling was used to arrive at schools to participate in the study by dividing the target population of schools into nine strata on the basis of the nine locations in Chepalungu Sub County. Census sampling approach was used to sample principals in the sampled schools, while simple random sampling was used to sample teachers and students from the selected schools. Therefore, the total sample of the study included 6 principals, 43 teachers and 828 students. The researcher used questionnaires to collect quantitative and qualitative data. Validity was also established by use of expert judgment and piloting while; the reliability was also tested using test-retest technique to get a coefficient correlation of 0.84. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze qualitative and quantitative data. The study realized a total response rate of 92.5 percent. These findings showed that early marriages had a significant effect on girls’ completion rates in secondary schools. The findings showed that parents’ level of education was an important element on girls’ completion rates in secondary education because parents’ with higher level of education attained motivate their daughters’ complete secondary education. The study findings showed that most parents are unable to raise adequate amount of fund to pay school fees for their daughters. Majority of the cost related aspects not met by parents cause girls to discontinue with their education lowering their completion rates. The study findings recommended that the school administration and other stakeholders should come up with programs and in forums enlighten parents on the importance and challenges of girls’ education. Teachers as professionals should conduct guidance and counseling talks on importance of girls’ education and parents as their responsibility should encourage and emphasize the importance of girls’ completion rates and placement once they attain certificate and hence secure future generation and break the vicious circle of low girls’ completion rates. A study should be carried out to find out the possible policies that can be put in place to improve the completion rates of girls in Kenya.
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