Relationship between School Related Gender Based Violence and Students Academic Performance in Secondary Schools in Nakuru County, Kenya
Atieno, Mary Andere
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In the recent past cases of gender based violence have been on the increase especially among young girls and boys in school. In particular are cases of peer-to-peer and teacher student sexual harassment experienced in secondary schools across the country. However, amidst the increased crimes among children in schools, educators and education policy makers have underemphasized the sexual and gender based violence in schools. Global data on School Related Gender Based Violence are fragmented. While there is some evidence on the harmful effects, its impact on academic achievement in particular has not been studied extensively. Studies in Kenya on gender based violence on school going children has focused on the number of cases rather than the effects and impacts. This study therefore sought to investigate the relationship between school related gender based violence and students’ academic performance in secondary schools in Nakuru County. Social Feminism theory was used to guide in conceptualization of the study. The study adopted descriptive survey design. The study population comprised of students, guidance and counseling teachers and principals in public secondary schools. The study used simple random sampling technique to select 97 students from the target population who participated in the study. All the 18 principals and one guidance and counseling teacher from each of the 18 secondary schools were selected to take part in the study. The sample for the study was therefore 133. On the other hand purposive sampling technique was used to select all the guidance and counseling teachers and school principals to participate in the study. The study collected primary data using simplified questionnaires. Reliability of instruments was ensured through piloting and reliability testing of questionnaires. Data obtained was analyzed statistically using both descriptive and inferential statistics. Descriptive statistics included frequencies and percentages. Findings were presented using tables and discussions. Study findings revealed that female students underwent almost all types of bullying as opposed to their male counterparts who never experienced both non-consensual and sexual assaults. Violence and abuse being prevalent at schools is a major hindrance to the education of girls and negatively influencing their school performance. In conclusion there are acts of School related gender based violence which is a serious issue that has some impact on the performance of students if not mitigated whether reported by any group of respondent or not. As a mitigation measure, school principals have regularly been educated on how to address the issue within school. The ministry has also introduced life skills programme taught in schools in every class so as to help them cope with every day challenges including gender based violence. However there was no concrete information from the respondents to confirm whether life skills programme is being executed effectively in secondary schools. This information will also assist school managers in designing programmes to reduce the cases of gender based violence in schools which is hoped to help in taming the declining performance in secondary Schools.