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Title The dynamics of female access to formal schooling among pastoralist communities in Kenya: a case of turkana district in northwestern Kenya
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Publication Date
Date Accessioned
Degree PhD
Discipline/Department 0220
Degree Level doctoral
University/Publisher University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign
Abstract Abstract In the Kenyan government’s Sessional Paper No. 1 of 1965, entitled African Socialism and its Application to Planning in Kenya, it was clearly stated that “Education must serve the needs of national development and prepare Kenya’s youth with the knowledge, skills, and the expertise required to enable the young population to collectively play an effective role in the life of Kenya while at the same time, ensuring that opportunities are provided for the full development of individuals advancement.” The objectives of educational opportunities for the population of Kenya outlined in the Sessional Papers are well defined but are not enjoyed by the nomadic pastoralists of Northwestern Kenya. On the whole, Kenya has achieved an impressive national literacy rate of 86% for men and 70% for women since gaining independence in 1964. However, regional and gender disparities exist, and of concern are the high dropout rates of girls compared to boysThe national completion rate for girls in primary school is 35%, while it is 55% for boys. The rate is lower in pastoralist districts such as Turkana, where the completion rate for girls stands at 3% and 4% for boys. Of the 35% of girls who complete primary school in Kenya, only 22% go on to secondary school compared to 45% of boys. In Turkana district, the dropout rate is about 94%. Several factors exist for this gender disparity. There is a serious need to address the dropout rate, particularly since education for women and girls correlates with fertility rates, health and nutrition as well as a general wellbeing for the whole family. Special emphasis should be made in education for girls coming from pastoralist communities like Turkana, especially in the prevailing difficult economic times where most families must invest their limited resources in education for their sons at the expense of their daughters. In addition, in regions such as Turkana, the costs of educating the girl child is higher than educating the boy child. Turkana traditions demand that girls be married so that parents collect the dowry, or “bride price.” Turkana girls are required to assist with house chores which include collecting fire wood, water, looking after small herds and administering care for young siblings. These duties are demanded less from boys. Although the government of Kenya asserts that educating nomadic pastorals families on the value of education for girls will help increase girls’ enrollment in schools, no progress has been made to fulfill their promises. This study outlines the major constraints facing Turkana girls and women in education in Turkana district of Northwestern Kenya and makes an effort to identify ways in which the main problems can be solved. Socio-economic status, cultural issues, education policies and factors related to the school environment as major constraints hindering girls from accessing and retaining are considered. The study employed a combination of survey and naturalistic designs, and used a sample size of 95…
Subjects/Keywords Turkana; Pastoralists; marginalized womne; Kenya education policy
Contributors Darder, Antonia (advisor); Darder, Antonia (Committee Chair); Anderson, James D. (committee member); Span, Christopher M. (committee member); Amutabi, Maurice (committee member)
Language en
Rights Copyright 2010 Mary Eliza Johannes
Country of Publication us
Record ID handle:2142/15536
Repository uiuc
Date Retrieved
Date Indexed 2018-11-19
Grantor University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Issued Date 2010-05-14 20:44:33

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