School and home related factors influencing girls participation in formal secondary school education in Kajiado North District, Kenya
Enhancing girls' participation in formal secondary school education is a shared responsibility among parents, or families; school, communities and the government. The study purposed to establish the school and home related factors influencing girls' participation in formal secondary school education in Kajiado North district, Kenya. Three research questions were formulated to guide the study. Literature reviewed was discussed in the light of the variables influencing girls participation in secondary school. The study reviewed literature based on three main objectives; Effect of family in-come, Influence of staff personnel as well as influence of school- community relations on girls participation in formal secondary school education. The study was anchored on the system approach theory by Kurt Lewin (1890- 1947). The study used descriptive survey. The target population of the study was the head teachers of the 21 public secondary schools in Kajiado North district, 309 teachers and the district education office. 15 secondary school head teachers, one quality assurance and standards officer and 45 secondary school class teachers were sampled. The response rate of the respondents was 12 head teachers, 37 class teachers and 1 district quality assurance and standards officer. The study used questionnaires and interview schedule for data collection. The study used qualitative and quantitative analysis. Collected data was analyzed using SPSS software. The findings from the study revealed that girls' parents' level of education and occupation determined the level of family in-come which affected girls participation in formal secondary school education. Most parents were also not able to pay school fees for the girls since their level of family in-come was low. Findings on school related factors on girls' participation in formal secondary school education indicated that there were few girls' schools in the district as compared to mixed schools. There was no regular provision on training for teachers on the use of gender responsive teaching Ileaming material or methodology. Findings also indicated that teacher to student ratio was below the recommended ratio. The female teachers were also fewer than male teachers; this implied that there were few role models for girls to emulate. School -community relations findings indicated that head teachers in most schools involved the community in decision making on matters related to girls participation in formal secondary school education, most parents responded negatively to addressing these matters, during meetings, from the poor attendance to such meetings. Based on the findings it is concluded that the number of female teachers in secondary schools in the district, family in-come, inadequate training of teachers on gender responsive teaching methods and school community relations influenced girls participation in schools. The researcher recommends that the government should increase funding sources for needy girls in secondary schools, review the cost sharing policy, train teachers on use of gender responsive teaching and learning materials and methodology, especially on girls, sensitize parents on benefits accrued from girls' formal education. The researcher suggests the need to replicate the same study within a wider scope to determine aspects influencing girls' participation in formal secondary schools and also in other levels of formal education. It is further suggested that a study be carried out to determine the relationship between number of female teachers in secondary schools and their influence on girls' participation.