Factors influencing girls' dropout in free day secondary education programme: A case of Mbooni West district, Makueni county, Kenya.
Ndambuki, Carolyne Ndanu
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Thisstudy investigated factors that contribute to girls' dropout from public secondary schoolsin Mbooni West District. The study locale was Mbooni West District which is in MakueniCounty. Unlike earlier studies examining girls' dropout from school such as thosecited in this study, the current study aimed at highlighting girls' dropout from public secondaryschool since the introduction of Free Secondary Education (FSE). The purpose ofthestudywas to investigate factors that influence girls' dropout from secondary school inMbooniWest District despite the introduction of Free Secondary Education in all public schoolsin Kenya. The study had five objectives which sought to: establish the effect performancein examinations has on girls' drop from public secondary schools, determine theeffect teenage pregnancies have on girls' dropout from public secondary schools, establishthe effect indiscipline has on girls' dropout from public secondary schools, asses theeffectthe home erivironment has on girls' dropout from public secondary schools and finally,find out the effect of the school environment on girls' dropout from public secondaryschools. The study is significant in a number of ways. One, the study provided informationaimed at increasing the number of girls completing secondary school. Two, thestudyprovides an objective assessment on the factors that affect the completion rates ofgirlsin secondary schools, thus forming a basis for evaluating the best way of providing educationto girls and possibly enable the government and communities to facilitate girls' education.Three, the results of the study may benefit educational institutions involved in policyformulation pertaining to education in Kenya, including the Kenya Institute of Education(KIE), teachers and Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC). Finally, it mayhelp curriculum developers to re-examine the secondary school curriculum with the aimof instituting improvements aimed at making the education environment friendlier to girls.This may see more girls complete secondary school in Mbooni West District. The structuralstrains theory was chosen to guide the study. The literature for this study was reviewedfrom textbooks, journals and internet sources. The target population was the 13,781girls in secondary schools, in Mbooni West District. A sample population of respondentswho were secondary school principals was selected from the public secondary schoolsin Mbooni West District. The sample was drawn using both stratified and simple randomsampling methods. The sample size was nine schools. Tools for data collection wereinterview and observation methods. To establish the validity the interview guide was piloted.To ensure reliability, the split-half method was used to test for reliability of the interviewguide. The collected data was analyzed using descriptive statistics including percentagesand frequencies. The Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) computer programwas used in data analysis. The study has established that the rate at which girls dropout of secondary school in Mbooni West district is related to performance in internal examinations, teenage pregnancies, discipline, the home environment and the school environment.From the findings, conclusions were drawn and recommendations made to theeffectthat efforts should be made to improve girls' performance in examinations, girls whofall pregnant while in school should be readmitted, discipline should be improved amonggirls in secondary school, parents in Mbooni West District to improve on their own educationlevels and finally, all girls' school to be provided in Mbooni West District for Educatinggirls in. Suggestions made for further studies are: replication of the study in the wholecountry, a study to be carried on the quality of learning in mbooni West District as wellas conducting a study on other objectives including child labour, bereavement and Orphanhood,health of the school dropouts and health of relatives, disability and special educationalneeds, age, marriage and notions of adulthood as possible causes of girls' dropoutfrom school.