Dismal Transition, Retention and Performance of the Girl - Child: What are the Explanatory Variables in Rhamu Town, Mandera County, Kenya?
Orodho, John Aluko
Dube, Aftin K.
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This study sought to examine the dismal transition, retention and performance the girl-child in secondary schools in Rhamu Town in Mandera County, Kenya. The major research question is; what are the explanatory variables for this dismal participation? The study was premised on the Classical Liberal Theory of Opportunity and Darwinism whose major tenet is that each person is born with a given amount of capacity, which to a large extent is inherited and cannot be substantially changed. Mixed methods employing descriptive and multi-case studies research designs were used to conduct the study in Rhamu Town. A combination of purposive and stratified random sampling techniques were used to draw 18 teachers, 120 students and 54 parents yielding a total sample size of 192 subjects to participate in the study. Questionnaires were used to collect data from teachers and students, while interviews and focus group discussions were used to collect information from parents. Quantitative data from questionnaires were analyzed with the assistance of the statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) computer programme Version 20 to generate descriptive statistics such as means and charts. Information from interviews and FGDs was transcribed and thematically analyzed and reported in narrative and direct quotes. It was established that there was high wastage of girls in the schools system because after initial high enrolment of the girls in lower classes of pre-school and primary schools, mostof the girls dropped out in upper classes of primary schools particularly between class 5 and 8. The few who proceeded to secondary schools dropped out before completing, thereby portraying very dismal retention and progression profile. The performance of the females compared to their male counterparts was equally poor. The major causes for this state of affairs were: inability of parents to cater for latent school levies due to poverty at the household level, retrogressive socio-cultural practices and low premium attached to the education of the girl-child, early pregnancies and marriages, and inability of the Government through the Ministry of Education to sensitize parents on the value of education as well as enforce punitive aspects of the Basic Education 2013 on parents who fail to take their children of any gender to school. It was recommended that the Government of Kenya should enforce the Children’s Act that outlaws early forced marriage and punish parents who do not take children of school going age to schools in Mandera County, Kenya