Cultural Expressions of Masculinities and Their Effects on Education: A Case of Maralal Mixed-Day Secondary School, Samburu County; Kenya
Njuguna, Rachel Wairimu
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This study examined the cultural expressions of masculinities and their effects on education processes in Maralal Mixed-Day Secondary School in Samburu County. The study was based on the premise that despite the legal provisions and efforts to address negative forms of culture that affect education processes, particularly for boys, negative effects of cultural expressions are still prevalent in schools today. Cognizant of these effects in the classroom setting, this study therefore, was based on the objectives to (1) describe the cultural practices associated with the making of men among the Samburu and Turkana communities (2) establish the effects of the positive and negative cultural expressions of Turkana and Samburu masculinities on educational processes in Maralal Mixed-Day Secondary School (3) identify the differences in participation in the educational processes among the Turkana and Samburu boys in Maralal Mixed-Day Secondary School (4) suggest strategies that address the negative expressions of masculinities and enhance the positive expressions of masculinities to improve the educational processes. Connell‟s theory of masculinity guided the study. The study targeted teachers and students in Maralal Mixed-Day Secondary School. Education officials were also sampled. Non-probability sampling methods, that is, purposive sampling was employed to sample 30% of the school‟s population. Students, teachers and educational officials served as key informants. Primary data were collected through semi-structured questionnaires, interview guides and observation checklists. Secondary data were obtained through library research. Analysis of quantitative data was done using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) Version 17.0 and the findings presented in tables, graphs and figures. Qualitative data was qualitatively analyzed using content analysis method. The findings were presented in form of verbatim and narratives. The research found that cultural expressions of masculinities affect educational processes both positively and negatively. 92.9% of the respondents reported that they had gone through various cultural practices that transformed them into men and agreed that these practices make them express different forms of masculinities which affect their educational processes. The results further revealed a significant disparity in the participation in educational processes between the Turkana and Samburu boys. These were influenced by several variables such as different cultural processes that initiate them to manhood. Moreover, the findings also demonstrated that cultural expressions of masculinities could either promote or subdue educational processes. To address these challenges, the study recommended attention to this issue in policy making, which is a critical strategic starting point if the effects of cultural expressions of masculinities on educational processes are to be addressed. Positive expressions of masculinities needed to be enhanced to improve the educational processes.