Family and Institutional Factors Contributing to Low Participation of Girls in Secondary School Education in Siakago Division, Embu County, Kenya
Muthoni, Nyaga Silvia
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This research was undertaken mainly to establish the factors influencing participation and completion of secondary school education among female students in Siakago Division, Embu County, Kenya. The study was aimed at finding out the enrolment and completion of female students in secondary schools in Siakago Division; and to explore the home, school, community and structural factors that affect participation female students in secondary schools in the Division. It also sought to find out possible capacity building measures that may contribute to the promotion of female education in the Division. This study was guided by Reconstructionism Theory. Literature has been reviewed on enrolment trends by gender; benefits of female education; female dropouts from secondary schools; factors influencing girl-child education; and constraints on female education in Kenya. The research design adopted for this study was descriptive survey and was conducted in Siakago Division, Embu County. The target population comprised 1,224 students, 92 P.T.A. members, 14 head teachers, 106 teachers in the 14 secondary schools in Siakago Division and the area District Education Officer. This study was carried out among a sample of 149 respondents comprising 113 girls in secondary schools, 17 teachers, 8 Principals, 10 PTA members and one DEO. Self-administered questionnaires were used to gather data from the head teachers and female students in secondary schools in Siakago Division. An interview schedules was used for the DEO. The developed research instrument was pre-tested using an identical sample from a mixed secondary school. Data collected from the field was analyzed using descriptive statistics. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) computer software was used in data analysis and the results presented using frequency tables. Findings showed that poor school environment, family instability, poverty and community attitudes towards the education of girls strongly determined the extent to which girls participated in secondary school education. Findings led to the conclusion that girls' participation in secondary education is below the national average. It was recommended that education officials, parents, Ministry of Education, human rights organizations, development partners, teachers and the local area leaders have a clear understanding on the factors that influence participation of girls in secondary school education in Siakago Division. This will help initiate necessary conditions under which female education is planned and implemented at the local level for increased participation of girls.