Educational Research (ISSN: 2141-5161) Vol. 5(5), pp. 166-178, June 2014. DOI: http:/dx.doi.org/10.14303/er.2014.105. Copyright © 2014 International Research Journals

 

Full Length Research Paper

Impact of Cultural Factors on Girl Students’ Academic Achievement in Secondary Schools in Kenya: A Case Study of Kisumu East District

1Lucy Stella Atieno Juma and *2Enose M.W. Simatwa

*1Department of Education, Rongo University College

*2Department of Educational Management and Foundations, Maseno University

*Corresponding Authors Email: simatwae@yahoo.com.

Abstract

 

Traditions and customs affect children’s education. It has been noted that the girl child is performs poorly in Kisumu East District when compared to the boy child in Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education Examinations. For instance in 2008, in Nyanza Province only 5 girls compared to 25 boys were ranked among the top 100 nationally. Among the 5 girls there was only one girl from Kisumu East District. In 2009, only 6 girls compared to 26 boys were ranked among the top 100 position nationally from Nyanza Province; and there was no girl while there were 4 boys from Kisumu East District. To date girls lag behind boys in academic achievement in secondary education. Many factors are believed to be responsible for this trend. Cultural factors are believed to be among them. It is this dimension that prompted the study. The study established that cultural factors indeed influenced girl student’s academic achievement. Weekend funeral based disco dances, prior to burial ceremonies were found to negatively affect girls academic achievement, particularly in day secondary schools. Domestic chores and practices by parents of marrying off daughters were other cultural factors that negatively affected the girl child’s academic performance.  Positive community attitudes enhanced girl students’ academic achievement while domestic chores negatively impacted on girl students’ academic achievement. The study concluded that cultural factors influenced academic achievement of girls in secondary schools in Kenya. The study recommended that the government should sensitize parents on the need and importance of supporting girl child education for better performance, parents should also be sensitized by the school on the importance of providing for the needs of the girl student. The findings of this study are significant to stakeholders in education on issues of gender equity in education and family socio cultural factors that influence academic achievement of the girl student in secondary education.  

Keywords: Impact, cultural factors, Girl Students’ Achievement, Secondary Schools, Kisumu East District, Kenya.