Rodah Adoyo Odhiambo, Enose M. W. Simatwa and Ayieko Yalo
In 1990, at the World conference on Education for all held in Jomtien, Thailand, girls education was identified as a critical priority. Despite the various efforts put in place to promote education, the number of girls keeps on declining. They tend to lag behind boys creating a notable disparity with regard to access, and completion of secondary education cycle. Gross Enrolment Rate in Rongo District in 2005 for boys was 23.35% while girls was 16.4%, in 2008 it was 40.1% for boys and 31.1% for girls and in 2011 it was 25.6% for boys and 21.3% for girls. In Ndhiwa District Gross Enrolment Rate in 2005 for boys was 26.9% and 19.5% for girls. In 2008 it was 40.3% for boys, 37.2% for girls and in 2011 Gross Enrolment Rate for boys was 36.6% while for girls was 31.4%. The purpose of this study was therefore to establish the role of principals in promotion of girl-child education in Rongo and Ndhiwa Districts, Kenya. This is because principals are accounting officers and implementers of government policies at school level. The study population consisted of 38 Principals, 38 Director of Studies, 2 District Quality Assurance and Standard Officers, 38 Board of Governors Chair persons and 2010 form IV girl students. The study established that principals factored in Re-entry and Free Tuition Secondary Education policies to enhance girl child participation in secondary education. Other opportunities used by principals to promote girl child secondary education were acquisition of bursaries, direct involvement of parents, teachers and provision of learning facilities and resources. Principals also faced many challenges in their endeavours to enhance girl child education. These challenges included teenage pregnancies, school levies, domestic chores and cultural barriers.
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