An analysis of factors influencing low enrolment and retention of girls with disabilities in integrated primary schools, Embu County, Kenya
Njeru, Idah Muthoni
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The study investigated the factors that influenced low enrolment and retention rates of girls with disabilities in integrated primary schools. It further explored possible intervention measures that may be employed to mitigate the situation. The study was conducted in selected schools in Runyenjes (Embu East) and Manyatta (Embu North) sub-counties in Embu County. The location was purposively chosen in order to enable the researcher easy access to the respondents. Again, factors that limit enrollment and retention of girls with disabilities were worth investigating because the government of Kenya provides free primary education for all school going age children although the programme does not address fully the education of children with special needs. Questionnaires, interview schedule and focus group discussion (FGD) were the tools adopted for data collection. The data collected was qualitatively and quantitatively analyzed. That is, thematically and frequencies and percentages. Poverty, low distances to school, negative attitude, time wastage by teachers, drug and substance abuse, security, household chores, boy preference, pregnancies and early marriages were the factors established to influence enrollment and retention of girls with disabilities in school. Based on the findings of this study, intervention is required to advocate for equity and access to education among all children at household and community levels. The government should ensure that parents of girls with disabilities must enroll them in school when they attain school going age and the education of children with disabilities should be made free.