Factors contributing to declining numbers of girls in primary schools in Nyatike division, Migori district
Pichi, Langi James
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Recent research and development work in Kenya and Africa as a whole has focused on the gender gap in education between girls and boys. The rationale for girl education is now indisputable. It translates into lower infant and maternal mortality, smaller and healthier families, higher agricultural productivity and higher per capita income. It is a single more effective preventive weapon against HIV/AIDS. More fundamentally, education is a right for both girls and boys. It is about gaining the power to questions, make choices and acquire the tools for better living. In Kenya, the government has committed itself in providing basic education freely through free primary education started by the NARC Government. However, female illiteracy remains a drawback to realizing an ideal quality and universal primary education. Despite the government's commitment and assistance from other donor agencies as well as self - help activity, Nyatike division girl -child education is still a problem. No in -depth investigation into factors affecting girl education in Nyatike Division has been undertaken. The main purpose for conducting this study was to establish the factors that have led to declining number of girls in primary schools of Nyatike division of Migori District. Before the commencement of the study the 'researcher sought permission from the District education office in Migori to enable him to collect data. Thereafter, a list of schools in Nyatike division was obtained from the education office in Nyatike. Random sampling was done to obtain 10 percent of schools in the division. Piloting was done in six schools in the adjacent Uriri division to establish the reliability of the data collection instruments. Uriri division was selected because it is adjacent to the area of study and the two have many characteristics in common. The researcher then conducted random sampling to obtain ten percent of the population. Sixteen primary schools were selected as a sample for the study. With the help of the research assistant, data were collected and analyzed using the SPSS (statistical package for social science) programme of the computer. The results are presented in frequency tables and percentages. Data are also presented on pie charts and graphs. The major findings from the study indicate that family background, early pregnancies, early marriages, and peer pressure are factors that influence high rates of girl child drop out leading to declining numbers in Nyatike DivisionA. There is need to re-enforce guidance and counseling in primary schools to help the girls to cope with this development changes in their bodies. There is need for more female teachers to assist the girls. The Narc government should provide freely sanitary towels for girls so that they do not have to break for four to five days to nurse their monthly periods which leads to loss of time and concentration. Girls should be re-socialized to view their monthly periods as a stage in life and not a sign of maturity and hence need for sexual partners. The study recommends enforcement of strict rules and laws governing free primary education and also to make it compulsory. The government through the Ministry of Education Science and Technology should source, funds to build and equip schools and some girls model schools especially in Ndiwa zone where the girl child education is so low and the school are in deplorable conditions. Most pupils are learning outside under trees and sitting on stones, this affects girls most because they are vulnerable.