Girls' completion rate in public mixed day secondary schools in Kirinyaga West District, Kirinyaga County-Kenya
Kaguma, Veronica Wanjiku
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Education is an important life process that plays a vital role in forming the foundation for a girl's future better being, as it equips the learner child with basic knowledge, skills and altitudes that will enable her/him to cope well in life. In Kirinyaga West District most girls who attend public mixed day secondary schools do not complete secondary level of education. Despite Kenya Government's commitment to enhancement of girl-child education, their completion rate at Secondary school level is not a hundred percent. The purpose of this study was to determine factors affecting the girl-child secondary education completion and to suggest strategies to promote school completion rate among girls in public mixed day secondary in Kirinyaga West District. The study objectives were, to determine school based factors that influence school girl's school completion, to determine home hold factors that influence girl's school completion, to determine parent's perception on the investment in girl's education, to determine strategies for countering the problems facing the girl child to ensure 100 percent completion rate among girls. The study adopted a descriptive survey design to collect information. The target population was all public mixed day secondary schools in Kirinyaga West District. The District has 30 secondary schools, with total enrolment of 8338 students, 4832 boys and 3506 girls. There are twenty five public mixed day secondary schools with total enrolment of 3208 boys and 1920 girls totaling to 5128 students. The sample used was 20 percent of the target population, head teachers, teachers, students, parents, and educational officers simple random sampling was used. The study instruments employed were questionnaires for the head teachers, teachers, students and interview schedules for educational officers and parents with students in the sample public mixed day secondary schools. Piloting was done and yields a co-efficient of 0.78.The primary data collected were edited coded and analyzed using basic descriptive statistics, frequencies and percentages. The data results were presented in frequency tables, and percentages. The study came up with appropriate strategies to promote school completion rate among girls in public, mixed day secondary schools in Kirinyaga West District. This would assist the policy makers and government planners make the right decision. The findings from the study indicated that factors such as the poverty/fees, inadequate government policies does not foster girls secondary education completion, other follow-up factors such as teenage pregnancies, early marriages, child labour, unsupportive parents, indiscipline, lack of guidance and counseling, lack of role models, illicit brew, poor performance and lastly motor bike boda boda business. Based on these findings the study recommended that the government to fund fully instead of subsidizing secondary education, proper implementation of government education policies, and to provide the girl-child with sanitary pads monthly, parents to be more involved. Teachers should be trained and qualified and also motivated to concentrate on assisting the girl child to make maximum use of study time both at home and school.