Influence of post election violence on girls’participation in secondary education in Nyandarua South Sub County, Kenya
A status report by the Kenya Human Rights Commission estimates that of the 663,921 displaced in Kenya after the 2007-2008 post-election violence, 350,000 sought refuge in 118 camps whereas about 331,921 were integrated within communities across the country. Although those in camps were finally resettled, the ones integrated within the community were more or less forgotten. The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of the post election violence on girls' participation in secondary education in Nyandarua South Sub County, Kenya. The study focused on schools outside the IDP camps. Specifically, the study objectives were to determine the extent to which absenteeism, psychosocial support, livelihoods and separation from family members influenced girls' participation in secondary education. The study was grounded on Jerome Bruner’s Discovery theory that postulates that learning is an active process in which learners construct new ideas and concepts based upon their current or past knowledge. The study used descriptive survey design whose target population was 4799 individuals. The study used purposive technique to target 30 girls for the study. Random sampling technique was employed to sample the schools and consequently the principals, teacher counselors, class teachers of all classes and students in the sampled schools. The sample size was 127 individuals. Questionnaires were used to collect data with descriptive data analysis being done. Outcome of data analysis was presented in frequency and percentage tables and interpreted along the objectives of the study. The study revealed that though absenteeism affects majority of girls from displaced families and is mainly contributed by lack of school fees, it does not always translate to dropping out of school. There is poor distribution of personnel with formal training in guidance and counseling skills leading to a disconnect in provision of guidance and counseling services. The emotional state of the girls is the biggest challenge facing counseling in schools, while participation in co-curricular activities by the girls affected by the 2007/2008 Post Election Violence shows that healing is taking place. The study further revealed that financial difficulties and trauma have the highest effect on the girls and that families of affected girls are large with more than four siblings in each thus overburdening the parents. The study has concluded that absenteeism, psychosocial support by the schools, parental livelihoods and separation from family members greatly influenced the participation of girls in secondary education in the study area. It has gathered information that could help education authorities understand what kind of support is needed by girls from PEV affected households. It could also help the schools identify and set up support mechanisms to help these girls so that they proceed with their education normally. Further, the study could assist policy makers in the education sector to put in place policies that ensure the protection of children emerging from electoral violence in future. The study recommends that a similar one be conducted on the boy child, a replica of the study be done in other parts of the country and an examination of learners affected by the violence be done after they complete school.