Factors influencing school drop outs among female students in public day and mixed secondary schools in Kiambu County, Central Kenya
The study was undertaken to investigate the factors responsible for the drop out of female students in public day and mixed secondary schools in Kiambu County, central Kenya. The three objectives of the study were to establish the influence of direct and opportunity costs of schooling, to assess how poverty influences drop outs as well as to find out the relationship between gender discrimination and school drop outs. The study was guided by the empowerment theory. The study used an ex post factor research design and the target population was forty six informants comprising of nine headteachers, eighteen guidance and counselling teachers, eighteen dropouts and the DEO. The research instruments used in the study were questionnaires as well as school admission and class registers .The data collected were both qualitative and quantitative in nature. The quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive statistics while the quantitative data were presented using tables of frequencies and percentages. The study concluded that there were many female students dropping out of public day and mixed secondary schools in Kiambu County due to direct and opportunity costs of schooling, poverty and gender discrimination. From the study the following recommendations were made; education planners and policy makers need to review secondary school fees and make it more affordable for parents who live in abject poverty. The government should generously extend bursary facilities and special grants to female students at all levels of education especially at secondary levels as well as make secondary education free and compulsory. Massive gender sensitization programmes on the benefits of female education should be embarked on targeting everybody in the society. Expansion of guidance and counselling is also needed in schools. The study recommends that further research should be carried out on female drop outs in tertiary institutions and on male drop outs in secondary schools.