An Investigation into the Social-Economic Determinants of Girls’ Drop-out from Secondary School
Cases of secondary school girls dropping out of school have been in the limelight in the recent past. This is despite increased efforts by the government to promote enrolment and transition from primary education to secondary education. This has necessitated an investigation to determine the possible causes of this dropout. The objectives of the study were to examine the reasons for the girls‟ dropout from day secondary schools in Murang‟a East Sub-County and to examine the influence of household income, family structure and parents‟ and siblings‟ highest educational attainment on the girls‟ dropout. Using convenience and snowball sampling techniques, this paper presents results from a sample of 58 female participants who have dropped out from day schools in Murang‟a East Sub-county during the last 5 years. The study used mixed-method design and data were collected with a questionnaire with both open and closed ended questions. Qualitative data from the completed participants‟ responses on the open-ended questions were analyzed using content analysis. The most frequently mentioned reasons for dropping out of school included lack of school fees, negative peer pressure, drug abuse, poverty and pregnancy. These were mentioned among the key factors leading to school dropout. Over half the participants sampled mentioned that they had siblings who had dropped out of school. In addition, the average age at the time of dropping out of school was 17 years. Majority of the dropouts, 45% of the participants had dropped out in Form 2. According to the study findings, intervention to reduce girls‟ dropout in day secondary schools in Murang‟a East Sub-County may need to focus on Form 2, since the majority of girls drop out from day secondary schools at this stage.
Keywords: Girls‟ Dropout, Day Secondary Schools, Socio-Economic Determinants, Murang‟a, Kenya