A comparative analysis of girls' academic performance in girls' schools and mixed secondary schools in Naivasha District, Kenya
The purpose of the study was to carry out a comparative study to establish factors that influence girl's academic performance, in mixed and girl's only schools in Naivasha district and to promote girls desire for higher education. The objectives of the study were to compare and contrast the socio-economic and socio-cultural factors that influence girl's academic performance in girls only schools and mixed secondary schools; establish the school based factors that influence girls' academic performance in girls only schools and mixed secondary schools; and find out home based factors that influence girls' academic performance in girls only schools and mixed secondary schools in Naivasha District. The study adapted a descriptive survey design ,targeting all the 55 secondary schools in Naivasha District, all Principals ,Parents ,Students, Teachers in the same Schools and one Quaso. Simple random sampling was used to select 29 Secondary Schools (6 girls' schools and 23 mixed schools) the study sampled one Quaso,29 29 principals ,58 teachers,58 parents and 145 girls giving a total of 291 participants. Instruments employed for data collection were questionnaires and interview schedules. Prior to the actual data collection procedure a pilot study was carried out to ascertain the reliability of the instruments. Quantitative data was arranged according to research objectives and questions whereby inferences were made to help draw conclusion, to assist educational policy makers to lay strategies for countering the factors affecting girl's academic performance in single sex and mix secondary schools in Naivasha District. The study established that self perception and parental economic status were the most common factors affecting girls performance in both girls' only and mixed schools. On the other hand, most of respondents from girls' only schools reported that social economic and cultural factors were not at all affecting girls' performance. The study also established that both mixed and girls' only schools, the most prominent school-based affecting girls' performance was peer pressure and opposite sex attraction. Further, the study found out that in both mixed and girls' only school; the key factors which affect the performance of girls were parental level of education, lack of library books and household chores. The study recommends that; school heads should ensure that girls feel free to ask for help when they need it, especially concerning personal matters like menstruation. This can be done by creating trust and an environment where openness is encouraged; parents should also take a keener interest in their children's education and follow up to ensure that they perform well. They should also provide them with the materials they need and pay their fees on time; further, role models (both male and female) should be used by stakeholders to make visitations to schools to give encouragement to learners to study because their future depends on education; among other recommendations.