School-based factors influencing participation of girl-child in public primary schools. A case of Otonglo Zone of Kisumu District
Ombati, Susan M
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Accessibility to education is one of the most important instruments for human resource development. Therefore education of girls occupies top priority amongst various measures taken to improve the status of the traditionally perceived weaker gender. There is evidence that primary education enrolment rates for girls have a positive impact on economic well-being of women, their families and society in the long run. Hence girls need to participate fully in education to achieve this (Murray 2001).School- based factors are major challenges in Kenya hindering girl participation in schools. In Otonglo zone, an average of 21 % and 27% estimated exits were recorded for girls in the year 2007 and 2008 respectively. The wastages were alarming and if not addressed in time the dropout rate would escalate and impede girl participation in school and society in general (Otonglo zone annual records, 2009). Therefore the purpose of this study was to analyze the school-based factors that influenced participation of girls in public primary schools of Otonglo zone in Kisumu District. The target population constituted the girl pupils, head teachers, class teachers and zonal quality assurance officer. The research study was guided by specific research objectives and questions that included influence of school sanitation programmes on participation of girls, influence of teacher-pupil relationship on participation, gender-based characteristics in performance and influence of co-curricular activities on participation. The research study adopted descriptive research design with both qualitative and quantitative approaches for the purpose of accessing the study's general intent. Sampling of the study subjects was accomplished by the use of stratified random sampling method as a basis of ensuring inclusion of all different character subjects. Two sets of questionnaires for head teachers and class teachers and girls and the interview schedule for the zonal quality assurance officer were used to collect data. After successful completion, quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive statistics while qualitative data followed the procedures of content analysis to draw inferences. Findings of the study, shows that the existing nature of sanitation, gender-based differentials, relationship between teachers and pupils and the extent of participation of girls in co-curricular activities greatly affected the girls propensity to active participation in school. On the basis of the study's findings, there was great urgency to consolidate all the main stakeholders towards providing appropriate sanitation facilities. Moreover teachers need to be trained on effective strategies on mitigating gender differences that may make girls feel neglected; teachers should be trained on how to boost the relationship positively for the effective participation of girls. Finally girls should be given limelight on performance related outcome from engagement in the outside class activities.