Factors that influence gender disparity on primary education: a case of public primary schools in Kikuyu Constituency
The purpose of study was to analyze gender disparity in primary education of boys; a case of schools public primary education in Kikuyu Constituency, Kiambu County. The study was guided by the following specific objectives: to establish the status of gender disparity in terms of population of boys and girls in public primary schools in Kikuyu constituency, to assess gender disparity on the access to primary educatfon by boys in public primary schools, to analyze gender disparity in terms of performance of boys in public primary schools and to determine gender disparity on the retention of primary education of boys in public primary schools in Kikuyu constituency. Descriptive research design was used for the study. The population for the study was public primary schools in Kikuyu Constituency. There are 57 public primary schools in the Constituency. The target population for the study was teachers and head teachers. Systematic random sampling technique was used to sample the schools and the respondents for the study. A total of 48 schools were sampled for the study. A total of 308 respondents were targeted by the study (constituting 260 teacher and 48 head teachers) out of which 252 responded (220 class teachers and 32 head teachers). Questionnaires were used as instruments for data collection. Piloting was done to test on the Validity and reliability of the instruments. Quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive statistics while content analysis technique was used to analyze qualitative data collected using interview schedules. Microsoft EXCEL package was used to analyze the quantitative data. Descriptive statistics such as frequencies and percentages was used to describe the data. On the status of gender disparity in terms of population, the study revealed that girls were the majority as indicated by 44% of the respondents. In terms of access, the study found that 53% of the respondents indicated that there was imbalance. The imbalance was evidenced by the fact that52% of the respondents indicated that girls were given the first priority in terms of access to school. Factors influencing access to school were found to be high enrolment rates of girls, nature of the society and cultural practices. In regard of disparity in terms of performance, the study found that 94% of the respondents indicated that there was a difference in the performance of Girls and Boys in Primary schools in Kikuyu Constituency. This was evidenced by the finding that 54% of the respondents strongly agreed that Boys still performed well regardless of girl-child centered gender support programs. On the disparity in terms of retention, the study found that 79%' of the respondents indicated that there were cases of school drop out. The study also found that 85% of the respondents indicated that absenteeism prevails in Primary schools in Kikuyu Constituency. The study further established that 52% of the respondents indicated that girls absent themselves more frequently than boys. In conclusion the study revealed that there was gender disparity in terms of population of girls and boys in public primary schools in Kikuyu Constituency, that there was disparity in terms of access to primary education Kikuyu Constituency where girls were given more priority, besides the disparity in population and access to school in favour of girls, boys still performed better than girls in examinations and that there was disparity in terms of school retention where girls were found to drop out of school in slightly large numbers compared to boys. The study recommended that programs for promoting boy child education should also be ongoing besides the ones promoting the girl child education. It was recommended that another study be done to determine the factors hindering access to schools among boys in other Constituencies which was not the focus of this study.