Factors that influence the trend of student enrolment in home science in Nairobi secondary schools
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This study was a survey research, which was conducted to determine the factors that influence student enrolment in home science. The objectives of the study were: (1) To determine the parents' socio-economic factors that influence student choice of home science subject. (2) To identify the factors that influence the choice of home science subject among boys and girls. (3) To identify the attitude of students and teachers towards home science and how these subsequently influence student enrolment in the subject. (4) To find out the criteria used in the schools for selecting home science students. (5) To examine the trend of student enrolment in home science in the previous system of education and the 8.4.4 system of education from 1984-1991. The data used in the study were collected using questionnaires for the secondary school students and home science teachers in the same schools. An interview schedule was used to obtain supplementary information from the head teachers. These were administered by the researcher to a sample of 380 students, 20 teachers and 7 head teachers. The data were analysed by use of frequencies, percentages and chi-square analysis showed that more of the students taking and not taking home science subjects perceived the subject to be easy. The other results of the Chi-square analysis showed no significant relationship between socio-economic factors and student's choice of home science subject. In reference to the factors that influence student's choice of home science subject, the following were indicated; good examination results, personal liking of the subject, promise of future career opportunities, own interest, parents, career teacher, home science teacher and home science providing a foundation for good family life. The factors that deterred the students from choosing home science subject were lack of interest, the subject being too involving in theory and acquisition of practical skills, inadequate facilities, lack of interest among home science teachers and teachers unqualified to teach the subject. The results also revealed that most schools did not have a set criterion for selecting home science students. The results further showed that the attitude of students and teachers towards the subject is positive, and student enrolment in home science subject is not consistent while the trend is on the decline. Therefore some measures need to be taken to improve the level of student enrolment in the home science subject. This could be done by encouraging both male and female students to join the profession at all levels of the educational system.