Factors influencing academic performance of girls in public primary schools in Sereolipi education zone in Samburu county, Kenya
Performance in national examinations by day primary girls’ schools has been poor in Kenya. The participation of girls in primary education has been below that of boys for the last five years. Various interventions have been undertaken to address the gender gaps in the education sector. Significant achievements have been scored through these initiatives towards improving girls' access, retention and performance. However, the gender disparities are still wide. It has been noted that the girl child’s academic performance is generally below average, yet, it is acknowledged that an educated girl plays a significant role in society as compared to an educated boy child. The purpose of this study was to establish the factors influencing academic performance of girl child in public primary schools in Sereolipi Education Zone. The study was guided by the following objectives: To determine how family background affects academic performance of girl child in public primary schools; to establish how pupil's characteristics affect academic performance of the girl child in public primary schools; to establish the effect of parental involvement on academic performance of girl child in public primary schools; to assess the influence of school infrastructure on academic performance of girl child in public primary schools. The researcher employed the descriptive survey and ex post facto designs. The research was undertaken at Sereolipi Education Zonewhich is located in Samburu East District of Samburu County. All the 3 schools were used for the study because the target population was so small that selecting a sample would have been meaningless. The population studied was then divided into strata comprising of teachers, Parents and girls in class 6, 7 and 8 to get a more homogeneous sub-population. The researcher then used purposive technique to identify the teachers to be interviewed. Simple random sampling methods were used to select the Parents and girls for the study in order to avoid biasness whereby every girl and parent in the study had an equal chance of participating. Primary data was collected in two ways. First, a questionnaire was conducted with the pupils and parents. Secondly, interviews were carried out to teachers. The data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and multiple regressions using Statistical Package for Social Sciences. The study found that Parental involvement influences academic performance of girl child in public primary schools most followed by pupil's characteristics, Family background and school infrastructure was influencing academic performance of girl child least. It was clear that status of the family has the highest effect on academic performance of the girl child followed by number of siblings, structure of the family, period of time in the current school, whether the girl is a day scholars and boarders with age of the respondents having the lowest effect on the academic performance of the girl child. This study recommends that that the government intervenes to create more awareness on the need of parental involvement in the education of their children. This can be done by encouraging teachers under the auspices of education officials to sensitize the parents on the importance of education for their girls` future and hence the need to get involved in it. The study further recommends that various forums be organized so as inspire and inculcate the importance of education of the girl child in Sereolipi education zone.