Family Socio-Economic Background and its Effects on the Investment in Girls Education in Public Secondary Schools in Bungoma County, Kenya
Wechuli, S. Christopher
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Girls secondary school education impact them with skills and knowledge that are essential in bringing positive socioeconomic changes such as economic development and prosperity. The purpose of the research was to find out the effect of the family socio-economic background on the investment in girls' education at the secondary school education in Bungoma County. Despite the implementation of a noble initiative of Free Day Secondary Education, the disadvantaged girls still find it hard to access secondary school education. In some cases, learners fail to access secondary education at all, while a large percentage of girls drop out along the way. The study objectives were to investigate the influence of parents occupation on the investment in public secondary school education among girls, to examine the effects of parents’ level of education on the investment in girls' public secondary school education, to determine the consequences of family size on the investment in girls' education at the secondary school and to determine the consequences of household income on investment in girls' education at the secondary school level in Bungoma County. The study used the Classical Liberal theory of Equal Opportunity and Social Darwinism advanced by Charles Darwin (1982). A descriptive research design was adopted in the study. The target population for the study was 695 comprising of parents, students, teachers and head teachers. Simple random sampling was utilized to get a total sample of 405 respondents comprising of Parents, Teachers, Head Teachers, and students drawn from 36 schools in Bungoma County. Data was obtained using interview schedules and questionnaires, and the research piloted in two schools. My supervisor, who is an expert from the Department of Education Management Policy and Curriculum Studies, was consulted in determining the validity of the research instruments. To determine the reliability of the research instruments, the researcher came up with two sets of instrument scores using the test-retest method, which was compared using Spearman rank-order correlation. Qualitative data was analyzed into patterns and themes, while quantitative data was collected, coded, formatted and analyzed using Social Package for Statistical Science (SPSS). The presentation of the findings was through pie charts, graphs, and percentages. The study established that parents’ level of education had a significant influence on the investment in girls' education. The study also identified a linkage between family size and household income and investment in girls secondary school education. The study recommends the sensitization of parents and the community on the importance of investing in girl's education. The research also suggests that FDSE capitation by the government should be increased to ease the parent's burden of paying boarding and lunch fees. Finally, the study recommends that the government, through the ministry of internal security and education should work with the grassroots administration and Nyumba Kumi in ensuring a 100% transition for girls to secondary school is realized.