Factors affecting career aspirations of girls; emerging issues and challenges: A case of Thika West District, Kiambu county
MetadataShow full item record
The way that girls see their future beyond form four is a central influence on what subjects they choose to take at this pivotal decision point in their schooling. Previous studies indicate that girls are poorly represented in most careers that are considered prestigious and especially science-based careers. Similarly, although girls are well represented at the primary school level, the number of girls completing secondary education is far less than that of boys, and declines even further at the tertiary level of education. This shows that girls could be having low levels of career aspirations than boys. This study therefore sought to find out the factors affecting career aspirations of girls and emerging issues and challenges in Thika West District. The objectives of the study were to: establish the career aspirations of secondary school girls in Thika West District, find out the socio- economic factors that influence career aspirations of secondary school girls, find out the cultural factors that influence career aspirations of secondary school girls, find out the school-based factors that influence career aspirations of secondary school girls, and establish ways through which career aspirations of girls in secondary schools can be enhanced in order to increase the number of girls pursuing higher education. The study was carried out in Thika West District of Central Province, Kenya. The study employed a descriptive survey research design. Questionnaires and interview schedules were used as the main tools for data collection. The study participants comprised of 320 secondary school girls, 8 principals, and 8 career masters who were selected from 8 secondary schools in Thika West District. Simple descriptive statistics was used to analyze the data. These included means, percentages and frequency counts. The analysis results were presented in summary form using tables, frequency histograms and pie charts. The study established that students aspired to go to university after completing form four. It was also established that the parents were involved in their children's welfare in school and wanted them to further their studies. The study revealed . that socio-economic factors and cultural practices, to some extent have a negative influence on girls' career aspirations. However, it was established that school-related factors positively influenced girls' career aspirations. It was also established that individual factors like self efficacy had an influence on girls' career aspirations. The study recommends that there is need for awareness campaigns targeting the community, parents, local leaders, administrators, teachers and students on the importance of education and the benefits of education especially of the girl child. This should be done through public barazas, seminars, school parents' days and other community functions; the girls should also be empowered and encouraged to say no to those cultural practices that affect their educational aspirations. They should be educated on the dangers of female genital mutilation and early marriages. The Non-Governmental Organizations should be involved in this education. The school administrators should also organize trips outside the school for exposure. This will change the attitude of the girls gradually; among other recommendations.