Factors influencing performance of girl child in public primary schools in Kitengela Division, Isinya District, Kajiado County, Kenya
The purpose of this study was to assess the factors influencing performance of girl child in public primary schools in Isinya district. The specific objectives of the study were as follows: To assess the influence of cultural and traditional practices on girls’ performance, to determine the extent to which family background has influenced girls performance, to investigate how within school factors have influenced girls performance, to assess how early sexual maturation of girls has influenced their performance and investigate how they have influenced performance of girls. This study adopted a descriptive survey design; since it enabled the researcher to collect data from a wide area in a short time. This study, dealt with present relationship of variables and process taking place in the study area. Finally, it examined the effects that will be going on at the particular time, and the attitude held by respondents who were cross-examined. The study was carried out in Isinya District- Kajiado County. It targeted 15 primary schools, 15 head teachers, 15 chairpersons of schools and 300 standard seven and eight girls in Kitengela Division. All 15 schools were involved in the study. The entire population of 15 head teachers and 15 chairpersons were selected for the study since they gave credible information related to study objectives. The study found out that the following as the factors that respondents thought influenced girls` performance to include forced marriages, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), parents’ negative attitude towards education, gender division of lobour, late enrolment, forced repetition, poverty, early maturation, cultural beliefs, lack of role models, harassment by boys and teachers, lack of inadequate teaching materials, teenage pregnancies, environmental and natural factors among others. Others were family environment which impinges on curriculum, quality of school practices, the level of parental education of the family, high income and conducive home environment, considered social status, interests and attitudes of the parents among many others. The study recommends that there is urgent need by the government to: increase girls’ access to primary and secondary education, alter representations of women and girls in the curriculum and increase the number of female teachers countywide. Improving girls` access to education and ensuring they perform in examinations, with the goal of attaining gender equality is a critical component of promoting development. The government should improve policy, management and learning environment to make them more gender friendly, continue to promote better stakeholder understanding of the importance of girls education. Due to lack of enough time and resources, it is therefore recommended that further research be undertaken on the following areas; the influence of the economic factors on girls` performance and how the government can improve on economic wellbeing of parents, the impact of the Free primary education on the performance of girls and to establish whether the government is doing enough to improve on enough in ensuring girls improve they performance.