Parental Economic Status and Girl-Child’s Talent Development in Lower Primary Public Schools in Mumias Sub-County, Kakamega County, Kenya
Akala, Namusendo Joseph
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Educating a girl occupies a special place in the world. It is a tool societies use to empower its people so that they can be productive and spur economic and social equality. Therefore, all people should access this service irrespective of their gender, region of residence or socio-economic background. In its report, the United Nations (2008) ranks Sub-Sahara Africa second to South-Asian countries in terms of gender disparity in education and talent development. The purpose of this study was to establish the influence of parents‟ economic status on talent development among lower primary school girls in Mumias, Kakamega County. The objectives of the study were: to determine the influence of parents‟ economic status on talent development among girls in Mumias, Kakamega County, to establish how educational status of parents influences talent development among lower primary school girls in Mumias and, to establish the challenges facing talent development among school girls in Mumias, Kakamega County, Kenya. The total study population had 818 including teachers, class teachers, pupils, parents, Board of Management Chairpersons as participants. The sample size was 12 public primary schools, 12 head teachers, 12 class teachers, 72 teachers, 240 girls and 12 Board of Management members. Data collection tools were questionnaires and interview schedules. The procedure for collecting raw data was moving from one school to another and handing over the tools to respondents, explaining to them on what was expected of them, agreeing on time to collect them and left the school for another station. Descriptive statistics, cross-tabulation and correlation were used to analyze data which was presented in tables. Head teacher questionnaires were to collect information about their educational attainment, training and professional experience. The teachers and pupils questionnaires sought information on talent development among lower primary school girls. For chairpersons, interview schedules sought to collect information about their educational backgrounds. Before the main study, a pretest was carried out in three schools randomly selected to test the validity and reliability of the tools, which were verified by the researcher‟s supervisor. The schools used in the pre-test were not part of the main study. Data was analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) and the analysis tables duly shown and discussed. Findings from interviews with school Boards of Management Chairpersons were also discussed. The study findings generally indicate, through Pearson‟s Correlation, that there is indeed a relationship between the economic and educational status of parents and the development of talents among lower primary school girls in Mumias. The results indicated that the higher the economic status and education level, the more positive the attitudes towards girls talent development. In line with this, the study recommends that: The government should allocate more funds to provide facilities in schools for talent development, particularly for girls; more teachers should be trained in talent development for girls; and, communities and the private sector/corporate bodies should support the government in talent development activities in learning institutions.