The socialization of girls and its effects on their academic achievement in Lurambi division, Kakamega District
Eshiwani, Rebecca E
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This anthropological study explores the gender differentiation in girls "socialization and how it is likely to impact on their academic achievement in Lurambi Division, Kakamega District. Its main objectives are to investigate the socialization roles played by the family, the school and the community; to find out if there are any other factors' unique to Lurambi Division which affect the academic achievement of girls and to suggest solutions to the problem(s) and make recommendations to formulators and implementors of policy. Samples for the study were selected from school pupils, both female and male, parents, teachersand community leaders. Questionnaires were administered to a total of one hundred and fifty (150) respondents, the main respondents being pupils(100). The research design for this study includes use of methods which made it possible to extract data from field and library research. For example, documentary sources comprised the first phase of the study. Books, journals and seminar papers relevant to the socialization process and academic achievement were consulted; stratified sampling, simple random sampling and quota sampling were 'employed in order to administrate the questionnaires, with both open- ended and closed questions. Besides the standardized questionnaires, discussions and personal interviews were held to highlight the findings. Participant observation was another method used to study behavior that would otherwise not be admitted to in surveys investigating the problem. The problem that is addressed in the study is that even though girls are now fully integrated into the education system. and have a chance to acquire skills transmitted by the process of formal learning in order to take up their places in the professions if they apply themselves to the task of learning, there are still forces at work that militate against their achievement. The theories reviewed in this study generally agree that there are a number of factors limiting girls and women-s full participation in education. These factors are both historical and contemporary: beliefs, attitudes and traditions, and economic necessities of the African subsistence economy. Cultural traditions dictate that girls should stay at home to help their others rather than go to school; that girls tend to attend school irregularly; that girls drop out of school early because of domestic reasons, early marriages or pregnancies. In the economic field it has been observed that limited economic resources influence parents and government to give preference to boys and men when education, vocation training and employment opportunities are in short supply. These factors combine to create a conservative mentality among both girls and women who, as a result, often passively accept their present limited roll and are hesitant to try new fields. This study noted that girls in Lurambi Division are ready to take the challenge of education,and as noted in the responses by some of the teachers, they work even harder and perform better than boys up to a certain point, but their performance deteriorates as they move further up. It is not clear in this study that boys are still favored in the provision of education. What is clear, however, is that there are still age-old beliefs as to what subjects girls should study and what careers they should take up.