Assessment of factors affecting gender mainstreaming in education in primary schools in Namanga Division, Kajiado District, Kenya
Kinyanjui, Naomi W
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The gender imbalance against women is a reflection of a complex combination of historical, social-economic, social-cultural past and present policy factors. Those factors lead to unequal chances for boys and girls to enter primary school. One of the government key philosophies for education is the concern that every Kenyan should be reasonably educated. However, only a minority has attained such a level of formal education especially females. Development of a country depends entirely on education of its citizens. The Kenyan government spends a great percentage of national resources on education. The major purpose of this study was to assess the factors that hinder gender mainstreaming in primary schools education in Namanga Division of Kajiado District. The factors being assessed include age, poverty, culture, school based factors, home based factors and parental attitude towards girl child education. The main respondents included headteachers, class teachers and pupils. The sample for the study was 10 headteachers, 20 class teachers and 300 pupils. Respondents were sampled using simple and systematic random sampling techniques. Data were collected using self administered questionnaires for headteachers, class teachers and pupils. Descriptive statistics method was used to present and analyze data. Information from data analysis was presented in the form of frequency, tables, percentages, pie charts and bar graphs. Findings revealed that there was cultural factor that contributed to low participation of girls in schools. The factors included early marriages, early pregnancies, helping at households chores; taking care of other family members, preference of education of boys to girls, cultural beliefs and cultural rites among others. Economic factors were also indicated as a factor contributing to low participation of girls school. Most parents were economically challenged hence could not meet the basic needs of their daughters especially sanitary towels. Most schools were not girl-friendly and ended up dissuading some from attending school such as distance covered to and from school. Gender stereotyping had a negative impact on girls' participation in education. It was also revealed that there were parental factors which contributed to low participation of girls in schools, these included; parental level of education, parents not going to school to discuss their children's progress, bias in parental support and parental involvement in their children's education. The study therefore recommended that there is need for the government to sensitize the community on the importance of educating girls. It also recommended establishment of more rescue centres to save girls from cultural rites and practices which infringe into their rights.