Factors Influencing Girls’ Low Enrolment and Poor Performance in Physics: The Case of Secondary Schools in Nandi South District, Kenya.
Ng’etich, Joseph Kirwa
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The study sought to investigate factors influencing girls’ enrolment and performance in physics in selected schools of Nandi South District, Kenya. Physics being an optional subject among the three science subjects (Biology, Chemistry and Physics), fewer girls opt for Physics as their subject of choice. The design of the study was descriptive survey and was carried out in seventeen secondary schools which were selected using stratified sampling. Data were collected from ten Heads of science Departments using interview schedule and from thirty physics teachers using questionnaire. More data were collected from 270 Form three physics students using questionnaire and achievement test. The data were analysed using both descriptive and inferential statistics. The data analysis revealed that school environment play a major role in performance and enrolment of girls in physics. It also found out that (70%) of the girls in the study passed the computational component of the achievement test, indicating that mathematical factor in physics had little influence on the performance of girls in physics. The study further revealed that (80%) of the parents greatly influenced the enrolment of girls in physics through the guidance and motivation that they provide to their daughters. The study recommends that parents and teachers be involved in the guidance of the girls in order to change the girls’ negative attitude towards Physics. The study also recommends in-cooperation of computational mathematics in the teaching of physics. Finally the study recommends provision of more gender-responsive resources for learning physics.