Influence of institutional factors on girl child's participation in education in public secondary schools in Kajiado North district, Kenya
The study sought to establish the institutional factors that influence girl child participation in education in public secondary schools in Kajiado North District. The objectives of the study focused on the influence of girl child harassment by teachers, teachers' characteristics, availability of sanitary towels, and principals' adherence to the government educational policies on girl child participation in education. The literature review focused on both broad and specific institutional factors responsible for girl child participation in education. The study adopted a descriptive survey since the variables were not to be manipulated; the target population included all the ten public secondary schools in Kajiado north district and the sample size comprised ten principals, 10 class teachers and 248 form four students. After data analysis the study established that, the headship of schools was dominated by male teachers at 70% and female principals constitute 30% this indicates that girls consider education as preserve for men as indicated by more male teachers than female teachers. The study also established that the reasons for girls not fully participating in schools in Kajiado north district was harassment of girls by both boys and male teachers, girls being forced to do household chores at the expense of education and non adherence to educational policies that protect girl child by the principals. The study also established that 25% of the students dropped out of school within a year of which the majority was girls 70% compared to boys 30%. The study also established that there was sexual harassment of girls in schools by both teachers and male teachers. On gender parity, 54% of the students said that boys are not given equal opportunities to access education. Some of the reasons given for unequal opportunity include; discrimination of female on gender grounds (3_8%), having less girls schools in the district, some parents not willing to take their children to school. The study also revealed that 60% of the school principals adhere to the policies that protect the girl child. The study also established that girl child participation in education is hindered by quite a number of factors which needs to be addressed. This includes; sexual harassment by male students and male teachers, provision of sanitary towels, lack of role models and adherence of government education policies by school principals. The key recommendations established includes; the government of Kenya and other stakeholders should provide sanitary towels to menstruating girls in schools, school principals should adhere to government education policies, there should be teachers who are good role models to girls in schools, girls needs to be sensitized on career, and there should be no forced repetitions for girls in schools.