The Relationship between Socio-Cultural Practices and Low Participation of Girls of Maasai Origin in Public Secondary School Education in Kajiado County – Kenya
Mungania, Silas Mwenda
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Countries in sub-suharan Africa have for decades grappled with bridging the gap in enrolment numbers between male and female students.Education for All[EFA]. Semi-Arid areas is complicated by poor infrastructure, rural tradition, and circles of poverty. The government of Kenya through the Ministry of Education has invested immensely in the education sector in the quest of ensuring there is increase of girls’ participation in secondary education and to improve transition rate of girls from secondary education to colleges and Universities. Despite all this effort, the level of girls’ participation in secondary education remains low. The purpose of this study was to establish the relationship between socio- cultural practices and low participation of Maasai girls in secondary school education in Kajiado County. The variables under the study are: To establish the socio cultural practices of the Maasai people, to document the current trends of school attendance of Maasai boys vis-as vis Maasai girls, to establish the possible retrogressive social cultural practices that affect Maasai origin to participate in Secondary education and to suggest ways of improving participation of girls of Maasai Origin in Secondary Education in Kajiado County. The study adopted a descriptive design since it describes the current status in a social system such as a School. The target population was girls of Maasai origin in public secondary schools in selected schools in Kajiado County. The study population was drawn from five girls’ boarding public schools and five mixed day public secondary schools, one County Education Director from the Ministry of Education, ten Principals, forty teachers’ , and two thousand one hundred thirty students giving a total population of two thousand one hundred eighty one in Kajiado, Kenya. Purposive sampling was used to sample both the County Education Director from the ministry of Education and Principals from public secondary schools while simple random sampling was utilized to sample students, giving a total sample of six hundred twenty six. The study sample size was one County Education Director, five Principals, twenty teachers and six hundred school girls, making a total of six hundred twenty six out of the target population of two thousand one hundred eighty one. Data collection tools for the study were interview schedules and open ended questionnaires. The selection of the schools for interviewing was done through stratified sampling while the girls were selected through systematic sampling. The data from the field was sorted out. Responses were coded and analyzed by computer using the statistical package for social sciences (SPSS version 21.0).In the resultant analysis pie-charts, frequency tables and bar graphs were used to present the quantitative data. The collected data was analyzed by mixed method where the quantitative data was presented in form of percentages, means and standard deviation. The quantitative data on the other hand was analyzed by use of content analysis and presented in prose form. Inferential statistics was carried out to ascertain the relationship between the independent variables and the dependent variable. The study found that the participation of girls in most of public secondary school was low as compared to their boy’s counterpart. The research findings indicated that early marriages and retrogressive cultural practices affect girls of Maasai origin to participate in education in Kajiado County. The study findings therefore recommended that there is need to create awareness to both parents as well as the whole community at large as this was seen as only way which will enhance the girl’s participation in secondary schools.