Footprint of cultural influence on academic attainment of secondary schools girl students in Kisumu East


Dabiku Fadhili

Traditions and customs affect children’s education. It has been noted that the girl child is performing 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 influences are believed to be among them. It is this dimension that prompted the study. The study established that cultural influences 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 influences 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.


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