Factors influencing girls drop out in mixed day secondary schools in Bungoma County, Kenya.
Wanyama, Christabel N
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In Kenya, there is overwhelming statistics that higher number of female students dropping out of school than their male counterparts. As yet, the underlying causes of these observed trends remains obscured. Therefore, this study sought to investigate the factors that influence girl's dropout in mixed secondary schools in Bungoma County. The specific objectives were to determine: the home based factors leading girls drop-out in mixed day secondary schools in Bungoma County, effects of school based factors toward girls' dropout in mixed day secondary schools, and influence of distance to school towards the girls' dropout in mixed day secondary schools in Bungoma County. The study employed survey research design. The girls who have dropped out of schools were established through a record from the head teachers of the mixed secondary schools. Currently from a record of 2732, the researcher selected a total of 118 girls who had dropped out of school. The main instrument for data collection were, document analysis and questionnaire for the girls who had dropped out of school. The home-based factors that had immense influence on girls drop out were poverty, preference by the parents to educate boys, and poor cultural orientation as well as low parental guidance. It was established that the school based factors causing the girls to drop out included poor academic performance, repeating of classes that discouraged the girls from pursuing further learning and lack of fees. It was also demonstrated in this study that the distance to school for most girls was far and therefore most of the girls took a lot of time· to reach schools. Luckily, most girls never drop out of school due to distance covered to school. This study recommends that school heads should provide incentives to poor performing girls to improve their performance, schools should also develop programmes that are devoid of gender discrimination while guidance and counseling approach is advocated for both the parents and teacher for the girls teachers must look for way of encouraging students through their regular and routine evaluation on how they teach and whether the students have understood them. The government must come up with policies that would encourage the learning of girls from all homes and parents must be forced to treat all their children as equal and must each get education like the boys. As basis for further research, this study should be conducted in the whole country to define the universal applicability of the current finding. A similar study involving the other institutional factors and government policies and other factors other than studied to be conducted. A similar study exploring how teaching methods contribute to female students drop out is recommended.