Impact of Cultural Practices on Enrolment and Retention of Girl-Child in Public Primary Schools in Samburu County, Kenya
Chepkwemoi, Chepkorom Nelly
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The purpose of the study was to find out the impact of cultural practices on enrolment and retention of the girl-child in public primary schools in Kirisia Division, Samburu County, Kenya. The objectives of the study were to: (i) find out thegender parity rate in enrolment and retention in public primary schools (ii) analyze the impact of Female Genital Mutilation on enrolment and retention of girls in public primary schools (iii) establish the extent of gender discrimination and preference for boys enrolment and retention in public primary schools (iv) establish the impact of early pregnancies and marriages on enrolment and retention of girls in public primary schools. The study used descriptive survey design.The target population was 26 headteachers, 256 teachers and1,777 pupils in the 10 public primary schools in Kirisia Division and 1,777 parents, 9 MOEST officials, 15 opinion leaders and 8 local chiefs in Kirisia Division, Samburu County.The sample population consisted of 10 headteachers, 25 teachers, 266 pupils, 10 parents, 3 MOEST officials, 2 opinion leaders and 2 chiefs. Questionnaires and interview guides were used to collect data.The data analytical statistics that were used to analyze the data were frequencies and percentages.The data was then presented in tables, pie-charts and bar-graphs.The study established that in rural areas there is a wide disparity in enrolment and retention between boys and girls while enrolment and retention in urban areas is almost at per. The study also found that majority of the girls in rural schoos have undergone FGM compared to those urban schools leading to low enrolment and retention of girls in rural areas. Another finding was that majority of the parents prefer to educate the boy-child and also early pregnancies and marriages cause many girls to drop out of school to get married. The study rcommended that awareness campaigns should be carried out by local leaders and county education officers to sensitize parents on the rights of girl-child education, the government, churches and NGOs to encourage the community tp practise an alternative rite of passage instead of FGM, barazas to be organized by churches, NGOs and chiefs to sensitize parents on the importance of education to all children and the government should build schools which are girl-friendly to help reduce cases of early pregnancies and marriages.