Factors influencing academic performance of re-admitted teenage mothers in public day secondary schools Nairobi East District, Nairobi County, Kenya
Muandale, Margaret Sayo
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Secondary school transition rates for boys are higher than for girls. The possible cause for low transition rates has been among others due to cultural factors and teenage pregnancies. Studies carried out indicate that the policy on re-admission of teenage mothers to school is being implemented by headteachers. On the other hand, no study has been carried out to find out how the re-admitted teenage mother students perform in exams in comparison to their previous performance before giving birth. This is what has prompted this study on the academic performance of teenage mothers in Nairobi East District, Nairobi County. The researcher used descriptive survey design to assess the academic performance of teenage mother students in the district. The study focused on public day secondary schools where most of the teenage mothers are likely to seek re-admission. The district had seven mixed schools and four girls' day schools giving a total of eleven public day schools. Two schools one from each category was purposively sampled for pilot study and the same technique was used to select the targeted six schools for study, three from each category. The research instruments were questionnaires, interview schedules and document analysis. These instruments were developed by the researcher and their validity was determined by seeking guidance and authentic approval from the researcher's supervisors. The reliability of the instruments was determined during piloting using test/retest method. The researcher administered the instruments personally and collected them on the same day to ensure that confidentiality was maintained because of the sensitivity of the subject at the same time enhance reliability. An interview schedule elicited information from the head teacher and the guidance and counselling teacher while the questionnaire was administered to headteacher, guidance and counselling teacher, class teacher and teenage mother students. On examination records, information was sought on the academic performance before and after giving birth and KCSE performance of teenage mother students who had since completed form four. Data were collected, analyzed using SPSS and presented in form of frequency tables and charts. The findings showed that the majority of teenage mother students were in forms 2, 3 and 4, therefore could have got pregnant at forms 2 or 3 at about the age of 15 to 16years. Although most teenage mother students had a positive self-concept and therefore, performed fairly well in exams, their fairly negative attitudes towards school, poor goal setting and time management, and inadequate guidance and counselling negatively influenced their academic performance. The study concludes that most teenage mother students had a positive self-concept and a positive attitude and yet their academic performance was not very good. The study recommends that intensive guidance and counselling should be carried out to the teenage mother students on goal setting and time management for enhancement of good academic performance. The study also recommends that teenage mother students should be guided and counselled by trained guidance and counselling teachers throughout their stay in school and the teaching of Life Skills should be intensified to equip teenagers with skills promoting responsible sex behaviour.
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