Factors influencing Sudanese urban refugee girls’ transition to secondary school in Kikuyu District, Kenya
This study aimed at investigating factors influencing Sudanese urban refugee girls’ transition to secondary school in Kikuyu district, Kenya. The study sought to achieve the following objectives: to determine the extent to which cultural traditions influence Sudanese urban refugee girls’ transition to secondary school, to examine the extent to which the parents’ level of education influence Sudanese urban refugee girls’ transition to secondary school, to identify the extent to which certification regulation by the government of Kenya influence the Sudanese urban refugee girls transition to secondary school and to assess the extent to which socio-economic background of a family influence Sudanese urban refugee girls transition to secondary school in Kikuyu district. The study was carried out in 11 public primary schools and 6 public secondary schools in Kikuyu district. The study used the descriptive survey design. Data was collected using questionnaires and interview schedules. Purposive sampling was used to select the 11 primary schools and 6 secondary schools with Sudanese urban refugee girls. Thirty three secondary school teachers, 134 primary school teachers, 22 secondary school urban refugee girls and 114 primary school urban refugee girls were randomly selected to produce a sample size of 320 respondents. A pilot study was conducted in two schools to validate the research tools. Data was collected, coded and analyzed to form the basis for research findings, conclusions and recommendations. The findings indicated that Sudanese traditions, parents’ level of education, certification regulation policy and socio-economic background of a family influence transition rate of girls to secondary schools: The study has made a few recommendations. First, organizations dealing with refugees in Kenya should network with the government and other stakeholders to sensitize urban refugee parents on the need of educating their girl children. Secondly, the UNHCR office in Nairobi should improve educational support for urban refugee girls to ensure that they transit to secondary schools once they complete their primary education. In addition, the UNHCR and the government of Kenya should invest in the construction of boarding schools for urban refugee girls to curb the problem of early marriage. Moreover, schools should include Sudanese urban refugees in decision making, by for example, making them prefects and having their parents/guardians as officials in the PTA. Finally, this study has made suggestions for further research. These include the need to conduct a similar study but for refugees of a different origin, a study on the same concept but focusing on the urban refugee boy-child to determine whether the factors influencing their transition to secondary schools are the same as those of urban refugee girls and a study on transition of refugee girls in a camp based situation for comparative purposes.