Factors affecting gender disparity among TSC teachers in Kenya a case of secondary school teachers in Sotik division of Bureti District
This study was about factors that influenced gender disparity among TSC teachers in Sotik Division of Bureti District. The aim of the study was to establish whether working conditions, culture, education background and training, and Government support and policy affect gender disparity among TSC secondary school teachers. Recent results showed that when the NARC Government introduced Free Primary Education in January 2003, opportunities for both boys and girls to enroll in schools increased, however despite the dramatic increase, Gender disparities were still observed particularly in rural areas and urban slums. Disparities were evident in secondary and higher levels of Education. Statistics from the ministry of Education 2003 indicated that few Girls Enrolled in standard 8 compared to boys and transition from primary to secondary in the same year stood at 40.5% for girls against 59.5% for boys. Realization of girls and women's empowerment through Education was still impeded by cultural and religious attitudes and practices infrastructural limitations, inadequate policy guidelines, poverty, HIV/AIDS, lack of community awareness as well as adequate female role models in rural areas and lack of male role models in urban areas. The GOK in its sessional paper no. 1 of 2005 on policy framework for Education training and Research has come up with current initiative through KESSP (2005 - 2010). Several targeted interventions included community mobilization and sensitization, Empowerment, balancing gender during intake of teacher trainees and deployment in schools, gender parity based recruitment, constructing one centre of excellence for girls and one for boys in each District. However despite these initiatives disparities were still observed. Reasons given was that Government Policy on gender parity is yet to be communicated to community levels. Curriculum including teaching materials have not been fully engendered. There was still lack of role models and harmful cultural practices like FGM, early marriages for girls which are still rampant leading to low transition rate to higher levels which were sources of teachers. The methodology used was descriptive research design. This involved a field visit to talk to teachers in the Division about gender disparity. Response to the questions related to the problem of gender disparity was taken and frequency of responses to each question was analyzed to come up with results and conclusion. Target population was TSC secondary school teachers in Sotik division. The concern was 50% of schools in the division. This was obtained by stratifying schools into three categories. Schools with two streams and above Schools with one full stream Schools with one stream but less than 40 students. 50% of schools in each category were taken. Within the schools the teachers were also stratified into male and female stratum using stratified random sampling technique. Systematic sampling was used to obtain the sample size from each stratum. This gave a fair representation and it was easy to obtain the target population from each stratum. Purposive sampling was also employed especially to capture the principals. This enabled the researcher to obtain data to describe and explain key themes that were observed. The data obtained was analyzed using statistical packages for social science (SPSS) such as Excel software programme. Descriptive statistics such as frequency tables, bar graphs, pie charts and percentages were used to draw conclusions. The study revealed that gender disparity had been enhanced by Family Commitment and lack of role models especially for girls in rural areas and for boys in urban centres. Evidence from the studies also indicated that inequality in Education opportunities and appointments to administrative posts had a role to play in gender disparity. Further negative attitudes towards certain subjects especially Mathematics and Sciences by female teachers was another factor mentioned. There was also the issue of hardship areas and poor working conditions which affected female teachers mostly due to their domestic roles of caring for families. It was recommended that equal opportunities in enrolment in learning and training institutions be provided. Inhibitive cultural practices that have negative effect particularly on girls and women be discarded. There was need to sensitize communities on harmful practices, improvement of working conditions in schools also came up as well as need for Government Policy on gender to be streamlined and communicated to all areas.