Determinants of Boys’ Academic Performance in Public Primary Schools in Mukurweini Sub –County, Nyeri - Kenya
Mwangi, Lucy Wamaitha
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This study sought to analyze the determinants of boys’ academic performance in public primary schools in Mukurweini Sub-County. The study aimed at; assessing the academic performance of boys in relation to girls in Mukurweini Sub-County, identify factors influencing the performance of boys, determine challenges that schools face while improving the academic performance of boys and suggest possible intervention strategies that can be put in place to improve the academic performance of boys. The study was guided by Connell theory of hegemonic masculinity 0f 1987. The study used descriptive survey design. The study targeted 65 public primary schools in Mukurweini Sub -County. The study considered the three zones in Mukurweini Sub-County; Gikondi, Mukurweini South and Mukurweini North. Mukurweini South had 21 schools while Gikondi and Mukurweini North had 22 schools each. A sample of 4 schools from each zone was selected for the study. Only class eight boys were considered for this study. The population of the study comprised head teachers, teachers, parents, pupils and education officials in Mukurweini Sub-County. A sample of 320 respondents who included 2 key informants, 10 head teachers, 12 teachers, 36 parents and 240 pupils were selected. Data was collected using questionnaires for head teachers and class teachers, interview schedules for parents and key informants, focus group discussion for students. Quantitative data analysis involved both descriptive and inferential analysis using SPSS version 20. Qualitative data analysis employed thematic analysis that entailed analysing transcripts of focus group discussions and data generated from interviews. The study established that performance of boys in Mukurweini District was declining. The study further established that there were economic, home related and school based factors that influenced the academic performance of boys in the study area. The most prominent factors were negative attitude towards boys’ education by parents, lack of male role models in schools and at home, lack of mentors, indiscipline, poverty and drug abuse. The study also established some of the strategies that could be used to enhance the academic performance of boys. These strategies were guidance and counseling, motivation of boys, male parents to participate in school matters, offering equal opportunities in education to both boys and girls and abolishment of corporal punishments in schools. Based on these findings, the study recommends that the Ministry of Education should conduct campaigns through organizations in the communities on the negative effects of drugs and substance abuse, sensitize the community on the importance of education of the boy child and lay down clear policies on the education of the boy child. Schools should also offer psycho-social support to boy child and ensure that they have qualified staff on guidance and counseling.