Factors affecting refugee girls' access to basic primary education in the Dadaab camps of Garissa district of Kenya
Abdullahi, Ahmed Sheikh
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The main purpose of the study was to investigate and establish the factors affecting refugee girls' access to primary education in the Dadaab refugee camps of Garissa District in the Northeastern Province of Kenya. This study has significance within the tenets of the Convention on the Rights of the Child due to the fact that primary education is considered as a basic right and a tool for protecting refugee populations. In this study, the descriptive design was used to enable the researcher collect information concerning factors affecting refugee girls' access to primary education. Since most of the data obtained from FGDs, individual in depth interviews were heavily qualitative, thematic analysis technique was used in data analysis. Results of the analysis are presented as summaries under a number of thematic areas to compare the attitudes and opinions of respondents related to factors affecting refugee girls' access to primary education. Study findings show that, high poverty levels, parental disinterest in schooling, domestic work, early marriages and mature girl withdrawal, refugee pastoral/nomadic background, parental discrimination and ignorance, and family sizes are the main out- of - school factors that directly affect refugee girls' access to primary education. Inadequate school infrastructure resulting in over crowding, cost-sharing in primary education, distance from home to school, lack of adequate girl friendly facilities and in-school discrimination of children with special needs are the main in- school factors with the most profound impact on girls' access to primary school education. The key recommendations of the study revealed the need for parental proactive participation in education activities, community mobilization and sensitization to send more girls to schools, reducing education costs, recruitment of more female teachers, provision of teachers(primary and special teachers) and training them as required, developing relevant education policy, infrastructural development(classrooms, desks, sanitary facilities), construction of boarding schools for girls, compulsory primary education and promoting parents literacy and numeracy skills.