Factors affecting participation of women in headship positions in public primary schools in Oljoro-Orok division, Nyandarua District, Kenya
Kabuga, Zelipha N
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The aim of this study was to determine the factors that influence low participation of women in headship positions in public primary schools in O'ljoro'rok division of Nyandarua North district. Specifically, the study determined whether social economic status has any influence on the number of female head teachers holding headship positions and the influence of cultural beliefs, values, and practices on participation of female teachers in headship of public primary schools in Oljoro'orok division. To achieve this objective, the researcher developed research questions to gather information in order to achieve the objectives ofthe study. Related literature was reviewed on women leadership in schools and theories of leadership, particularly the empowerment theory, social economic factors and leadership, women perception on themselves, cultural belief and practices and a conceptual framework was then provided. The descriptive survey design was used. The target population was 42 public primary schools, 42 head teachers and 335 teachers. The sample consisted of 8 head teachers and 80 women teachers. The return rate was 88.9 percent for teachers and 98.6 percent for head teachers. Questionnaires were administered to head teachers and teachers and validated by conducting a pilot study among 30 teachers and three head teachers for expert judgment. Test-retest method was used to determine reliability. A co-efficient of 0.87 for head teachers' questionnaire and 0.75 for teachers' questionnaire meant the instruments were reliable for data collection. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and presented in frequency tables and pie charts. The study revealed that majority of the teachers' spouses were employed, and majority of their parents were farmers and went up to primary school leveL This was an indication that most of them did not come from privileged background which is an important factor in career success. On cultural beliefs, values and practices, the study revealed that, most teachers were supported by their spouses, majority of teachers preferred working with head teacher and that the gender affects their professional growth. On gender role and stereotypes, the study revealed that majority of the teachers reported that the children interfered with their schoolwork sometimes. Besides, most communuties devalued women leadership. Hence the TSC should come up with programmes to empower women in overcoming the above mentioned challenges.