Factors influencing drop out rate for girls in public primary schools in Malanga zone-siaya District, Kenya
Obunga, Percilla A.
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The purpose of the study was to determine factors influencing dropout rate for girls in primary schools in Malanga zone, Siaya district. The study was carried out to fulfill five objectives, to examine the extent to which socio economic factors influence girls dropout rate, to establish the influence of basic school supplies on dropout rate, to assess how parental involvement influence dropout rate, to determine the influence of mentoring activity on dropout rate and to investigate how gender policy implementation influence dropout rate. The statement of the problem showed that the district had dropout rate of 40% compared to 37.2% national rate and 40% of adolescent girls without any education were either pregnant or had already dropped out of school despite the government policies. The study therefore sought to unearth the underlying factors leading to the high dropout rate. The study was limited by the poor road network in the rural area which made accessibility difficult and tiring. The study was delimited by being confined to mixed public schools in Malanga zone focusing on classes 7 and 8 enrolled in year 2011 as they had been in school long enough to understand the schooling process. Literature was reviewed under the following sub themes, socioeconomic factors, basic school supplies, parental involvement, mentoring activity and gender policy implementation. The study adopted the relevant theoretical and conceptual frameworks which guided the researcher in determining variables. The descriptive design which involved qualitative and quantitative strategies to data collection was employed'? ,366 pupils, teachers and head teachers were targeted for the study; a sample of 364 respondents was identified using Krejcie and D. Morgan (1970) table. Both probability and non probability sampling technique were used for various respondents. Data was collected through; focus group discussions and questionnaires as the main research instruments. The data was analyzed using frequencies and percentages presented in tables and discussed as per the literature reviewed in chapter two. Across sectional research design was used to establish the findings and revealed that high dropout rate was a result of socio-economic factors, inadequate guidance/ mentorship to the pupils. Poverty was very critical as it led to inadequate school supplies, orphan hood, and parental neglect of school activities. The study concluded that mentoring was an effective youth intervention strategy since the modem society has changed so much and the social safety nets that existed in the traditional societies and ensured somewhat a stable environment for children to grow up in have all gone. Mothers were more involved than fathers in school responsibilities. Girls feel more of the negative effects than boys, if unable to get supplies needed especially school uniforms, sanitary towels and levies, they are more likely to perform poorly in class since they miss a lot of study time and has no regular school attendance. In most cases when sent home more often, there are high chances that some never return to school. Most schools still did not apply gender friendly policies developed by the ministry of education. It can therefore be concluded that pupils especially girls still continued to suffer from gender blindness and biases by teachers and parents. Recommendations noted for the study called for collaborative efforts by government and other players in providing civic education on behavior change to reduce the impact of HIV / AIDS and initiate poverty reduction measures as these have real negative impact on the girl child education. There is also need for effective implementation of gender policy, the ministry should ensure proper dissemination plan covering the head teachers, teachers, pupils and parents. This coupled with close monitoring at the grass root levels would ensure a high level of success in the implementation process. Further research therefore needs to be done on assessing the boys' perception and roles towards promoting girls education.