Determinants of girls' performance in kenya certificate of secondary education examination (KCSE) In Kikuyu Division, Kiambu District, Kenya
Kimani, Lucy W
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The main purpose of this study was to find out the determinants of girls' performance in public secondary schools in Kikuyu Division, Kiambu District. The research project explored four (4) certain variables thought to be determinants of performance of girls as follows:- i) Socio-economic backgrounds of the girls. ii) Perception of teachers on girls' abilities. iii) Facilities and material provisions in the schools attended by girls. iv) Guidance and counselling services provided in the schools. The participants chosen for this research project were two hundred and eighty (280) who included; one hundred and thirty four 134 (48%) girls, one hundred and six 106 (38%) boys, thirty two 32 (11%) teachers, eight 8 (3%) head-teachers from eight (8) public secondary school in Kikuyu Division in Kiambu District. The instruments that the researchers used were mainly questionnaires for all the respondents, that is, the boys, girls, teachers and head-teachers. The questionnaires were to solicit information on the school and home environments and their influence on academic performance of the girls. The questionnaires were administered on the respondents with the assistance of the teachers in the respective schools. The results were tabulated and analysed using descriptive statistical method. It was found that majority of girls came from low socio-economic backgrounds particularly those in co-educational day schools, this was found to have militated against their performances in KCSE examination. Poverty levels led to lack of tuition and thus absenteeism in schools and overburdened with home chores for girls. There was low parental encouragement to their children's academic endeavour where they rarely minded about their progress in school and their school-work. Consequently girls were discouraged and had lower aspirations for higher levels of education than their counter parts the boys. the research established unequal distribution of learning resources across the different categories of schools where some like the co-educational and day schools had lower levels of key facilities such as libraries, textbooks, games facilities, science laboratories and workshops while the single sex schools had higher levels of the basic facilities and equipment hence need for re-distributions of learning resources fairly in all schools. This limited the range of subjects that can be chosen from hence failed to meet curricula goals of equipping students with technological know-how for self reliance. The research noted the preference for boys to girls by their teachers which consequently led to low attention to the girls by their teachers which in turn brought about discouragement of girls in class activities hence low participation. The findings also established that though institutions of guidance and counselling are put in place in the schools, the girls seemed to lag behind boys in attainment of the accrued benefits to such institutions like in academic excellence. Based on the findings of the study, the study therefore recommends that- Government and all other stakeholders give more support to finance the co-educational or day schools to raise the educational standards in these schools, this would be by redistribution of learning resources fairly across the schools to set an equal footing in the learning environment provisions for fair competitiveness amongst schools. Intensified guidance and counseling in academic matters to the girls. Gender issues in education should be incorporated in the education of teachers, this will make them aware of the importance of the education of girls. It is therefore useful to specifically address the issues identified in the study in order to improve girls' performance in the district and secondly to arrest the social and educational inequalities observed. The study also identified the following areas for further research:- A similar study could be replicated to a larger sample to establish if similar results could be attained. Investigate girls' performance at higher levels like in the universities. Investigate the gap in quality of education provided ill public, co educational, single-sex and private secondary schools. Investigate the enrollment rates of girls in science oriented courses in higher institutions of learning and their performances in the same Factors that make some co-educational schools perform better in a district or even nationally.