Factors influencing the boy-child secondary education in the rice growing region of Kirinyaga South District, Kirinyaga County, Kenya
Kamanja, Peter W.
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This study aimed at gaining in-depth understanding of factors influencing the boy child secondary education in the rice-growing region of Kirinyaga South District, Kirinyaga County, Kenya. Factors leading to this limited success had hitherto not been adequately investigated. The purpose of the study therefore was to identify those influences on the boy-child's secondary education in this district. The objectives of the study were to determine the boy-child school attendance trends and drop-out rates in the district secondary schools, determine factors affecting his KCSE performance, find out how the rice-growing sub-sector in the district may be used to prop up boy-child education and identify the non-school based factors that cause his dropping out of school. The theory of agrarian transformation and socio-cultural change formed the basis of the study. The study used an exploratory approach using a descriptive survey design, and the locale was Kirinyaga South District. The district has about 2000 form two and three boy- students, 40 form 2 and 3 class teachers, 20Heads of Departments (HoDs), and 20 principals from which 8 secondary schools were selected using purposive sampling technique. All the principals and the HODs of the selected schools were sampled, while simple random sampling to pick 2 class teachers, one each from form two and three classes was used. The total sample size was 224. Questionnaires were used to collect data from students, class teachers and HODs while interview guides were used for the school principals. Piloting of the instruments was carried out in two schools outside the sample to ascertain reliability. Validity of the instruments was ascertained through expert judgment. The questionnaires and interview guides were filled by the individual respondents. The data so collected were presented using figures, tables and diagrams. The data generated were qualitative hence was appropriately processed and analyzed using thematic analysis through cut and paste method. The respondents were assigned identification codes which were entered in the computer code sheets. The data were analyzed using SPSS program The objectives of the study were achieved, in that findings that secondary school access, attendance, retention, completion and KCSE performance of boy-child is influenced by several school and non-school-based factors were made. Such factors include preparing rice farms levies imposed by schools, level of education, age and gender of the household's head, income of households, lack of interest, distance between homes and schools, and household's size. The study concluded that to prop-up the boy-child's secondary education, concerted efforts by NIB, FBOs, and NGOs should be considered to mobilize resources and raise awareness among key players like heads of households. The study put forward some recommendations for action by education stakeholders such as the government, school managers, teachers and parents, in order to enhance the boy-child's participation in secondary education. Finally, a further research on a related subject in districts with similar agricultural activities is suggested.