Factors influencing girl child dropout rate in mixed secondary Schools in Kenya: A case of Bumula sub County
The purpose of this study was to investigate the factors that influence the drop-out of girls in mixed secondary schools in Bumula Sub County. The number of girls who sit for Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE), coupled with transition percentage and the eventual number that sits for KCSE specifically motivated this study. Not only has the completion rate of girls at secondary level been dismal but also comparatively low to other Sub Counties in Bungoma County like Bungoma South and Kimilili. This study sought to assess the effect of home factors on girl child dropout; it also sought to establish whether cultural beliefs have influence on girl child dropout; the study also investigated the influence of early sexual maturation on girl child dropout and assessed the effect of school based factors on girl child dropout. The study was based on both theoretical and empirical literature. The study was guided by Abraham Maslow’s theory (1954) that is grounded on the fact that basic needs which are physiological need to be catered for before achieving those at higher level; in this case the girls’ basic needs have to be met before educating her. Empirical literature cited what other researchers dealt with, their findings and recommendations. This report revealed that the entire Sub County’s education for girls was hit by: home factors, cultural beliefs, early sexual maturation and school factors. The findings do concur with previous findings on the fact that the socio-economic background, a community’s cultural beliefs, early sexual maturation and the school environment of the girl child determines her completion of education at secondary level. Descriptive survey research design was used and results were analyzed using statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) then presented in form of frequency tables and percentages. The entire population of mixed public secondary schools was 32; a sample size of 16 schools was under study from the four zones, this was arrived at using Mugenda and Mugenda (1999). Data was collected using questionnaire, interview schedules and secondary data and was presented using descriptive techniques and statistical inferences. The study findings are expected to enable educationists and policy makers come up with strategies for helping the girl child. Schools will also benefit in that they will come up with programmes to support the girl child and keep her in school, parents and guardians will benefit by becoming knowledgeable and help keep girls in school till completion. The study recommends instigation of poverty eradication measures in the district and strict enforcement of laws. As a basis for further research, a study on pure girls’ schools should be conducted in the same Sub County and a study on means to eradicate poverty in the District.