Role of Boys’ Empowerment on Academic Achievement among Lower Primary School Boys in Mombasa County, Kenya

ABSTRACT

Boy child empowerment is a topic that is emphasized among many educationists today. It has been proven that pupils who receive proper empowerment tend to excel academically as compared to their counterparts who do not. Boys and girls need to be targets in these empowerment programmes. However, in recent years, it has been observed that boys are usually left out of the school empowerment programmes. There is no much research to explain if this is the reason as to why the academic achievement of boys in the recent years is dwindling while girls within same schools perform very well. This study sought to interrogate if there is any relationship between empowerment of the lower primary schoolboys child and his academic performance. The theory that guided this study is the empowerment theory by Zimmerman. Gaps identified in the literature reviewed include; first, there is no ready literature directly relating the role of male teachers and the academic achievement of boys. Secondly, there is also no adequate literature showing whether boys taught by predominantly female teachers perform dismally in academics. The role of attitude is not adequately researched in relation to the variables under this study. There is evidently a gap in knowledge as to whether empowering boys in early childhood influences their academic achievement positively or not. Much of the knowledge available concerns older children and this leaves the formative years unattended and under researched. This gap in knowledge made this study very relevant and critical. The study applied the descriptive research design. Purposive sampling was used to sample schools where the study will be conducted. The simple random sampling was used in coming up with the learners and teachers who would take part in the study. A pilot study was done to test the tools. Questionnaires, interview schedules, achievement test and observation checklists were used to collect data. The data was collected over a period of three months. The data was then analyzed and presented using frequency distribution tables, bar graphs and pie charts. The study concluded that; the strategies used to empower boys are effective, there are no regular empowerment programs for boys in schools, the empowerment of boys in schools face several challenges that negatively impact the boys and that the male teachers are conspicuously missing in the preschools. Practical recommendations were made to school managers, curriculum developers and policy makers.

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION AND CONTEXT OF THE STUDY

1.0 Introduction

This chapter contains information on background to the study, statement of the problem, purpose of the study, study objectives, research questions and hypotheses. It presents the significance of the study, limitations and delimitations of the study, assumptions, theoretical and conceptual framework of the study. It also focuses on operational definition of terms.

1.1 Background to the Study

Empowerment is the process where a person or a group of people are aided to be in a position in which they can access opportunities and resources that are available so that they are ultimately able to make personal choices on issues that directly or indirectly affect them (Rockson, 2013). Rockson further asserts that such choices include basic ones like deciding what food to eat, what cloths to wear and what place to live in. He also argues that empowerment makes people to have some level of control over their immediate environment.

According to the World Bank Report on child empowerment (World Bank, 2017), education goes beyond getting children into school. Once in school, they must be treated in a way that leaves them feeling safe and valued. The social environment should prepare them for the completion of all education levels in the future. The report proposed that socially empowered girls performed better than those that did not get any type of empowerment to boost their education. This report however, did not mention what the effects of boy child empowerment would be on his academic performance.

In the same report, it is stated that, “Girls’ empowerment is a strategic development priority. Empowered girls are socially healthier, participate more in school activities, get higher marks, face fewer disciplinary actions and are less likely to drop out of school. The report however shies away from drawing a similar comparison for boys.

According to United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI, 2008), girls and boys have an equal right to education. However, this right requires an education system that gives both girls and boys equal opportunity to learn. For this to be achieved, teaching methodology and curricula must be designed to respond to pupils’ unique cultural backgrounds and learning styles. Education offered needs to be of high quality and very relevant to contemporary needs of the society. Such an education should therefore prioritize the acquisition of skills that children require to benefit from further opportunities for learning and employment. In other words, a good education should enable pupils to reach their maximum potential in an all-round manner (UNGEI, 2008).

Girls are traditionally at a disadvantage in many countries globally (UNGEI, 2008). In the East Asia and the Pacific region (EAP), there is great disparity in the provision of and access to quality education between the two genders despite significant efforts by governments and activists to bridge the gap. Literature reviewed in the report showed that girls and women are excluded from many facets of life such as leadership and education. However, the middecade review of Education for All (EFA) revealed that in many countries within the EAP map where statistics are showing a gradual universal improvement in the access to quality education, enrolment, school attendance and academic achievement are on a downward trend for boys. Many boys are dropping out of school early and much fewer are continuing on to higher levels of education than in the past years. This indicates that the education system is not meeting the basic requirements of many boys in the developing world (EAP Report on Early Literacy, 2008).

The EAP Regional United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI, 2011) conducted a detailed research review to investigate the under enrolment and underperformance of boys in early education in Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Mongolia. The review was based on the proposition that the factors that contribute to under enrolment and underperformance of boys should not be overlooked. Despite wide differences in data collected from these four countries, the consistent underperformance of boys was evident. Boys indeed lagged behind (UNICEF, 2009).

According to the UK Government (2010), boys’ performance is dwindling. This is attributed to the use of performance of girls as the only measure of gender equity in education. Unfortunately, the UK, for a long time assumed that boys were in the lead, and were consequently unconsciously ignored.

Additionally, in his study (Leach, 2005) conducted in Ghana and Botswana, the school environment was found to be continually becoming unfriendly to the boy child but favouring the girl child. For instance, during corporal punishment, it was observed that boys were treated more harshly than girls for similar mistakes.

Mkhize (2016), further asserted that the African continent is preparing itself for an impending social problem because of over emphasis on the empowerment of the girl while paying no proper attention to the boy. He further recommended that Africa, being a very patriarchal society, should handle the feminist agenda, in such a way that the boy is not left out (Mkhize, 2008 & 2016).

The cultural set up generally positions the boy ahead of the girl, and when the African boy is not socially in the lead, he suffers from feelings of inferiority. The ego is challenged and his pride diminishes. The girl then takes over the control of nearly every area of life and the boy socially disappears. This is a problem that stems from the way children are handled in their early years (Silberchmidt, 2015).

Additionally, UNICEF supported gender research audits in a total of 14 ESA countries, to assess the types and number of research conducted on the needs of girls in schools (UNICEF, 2012). It was found out that remarkable research work had been done and was ongoing in the area of girl child education and empowerment. This was good news for the girl, but there was no such research done on issues that negatively affect the boy in school. In 2008, under the UNGEI partnership, the Girls’ Education Movement (GEM) was established in South Africa, Lesotho, Uganda and Swaziland. The movement to date, sponsors research on the girl child, mobilizes local communities to support girls’ education (UNICEF, 2012). In those same countries, there is no dedicated effort to conduct similar research for boys (UNGEI, 2009).

A recent unpublished report on numeracy and literacy among lower primary school children in Kenya, revealed that girls performed much better than boys in literacy by 10% while boys outdid them in numeracy with a much lower margin of 4% (GOK 2010). The Ministry Of Education Report for the year 2016, indicated that lower primary boys performed poorly as compared to girls (MOE December, 2016). This should concern educationists, not because girls are performing better than boys, but the continuous underachievement of these boys needs to be explained. Considering that recent campaigns had focused on the girl child, it is necessary to establish whether the boy child has received the necessary empowerment. Consequently this study seeks to investigate the status of the boy-child empowerment with a focus on its impact on academic achievement.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

There has been much research, writing, oration and action dedicated to the girl child, but status of empowerment of the boy child has received minimal, attention especially in the school set up. Many have argued that the female is a weaker sex, that if not well supported will lag behind in most things. On the other hand, the male are considered superior and in a better place to handle their challenges without much support. In the Traditional African Society for instance, it is a generally accepted fact that males who cry or exhibit an inability to perform tasks better than the female are weaklings. This type of argument could therefore be very misleading and putting the boy at even greater risk than he is already. In school, the boy child has thus been left to deal with his own problems.

In Kenya, limited research has been tabled on the topic of boy child empowerment in relation to his school achievement, despite the dwindling academic performance of the boys in the examinations. The boys have been outperformed by their female counterparts in the national examinations since. This kind of trend raises pertinent questions that ought to be answered by engaging in more research.

This study therefore sought to interrogate the emerging gender trends in education of boys. This was based on the premise that the gender and education targets in the EFA goals and the MDGs shall remain unattained if the focus on boys’ education and his social empowerment are not addressed. In response, the proposed study sought to ascertain the role of the boy child’s empowerment on his academic achievement, because boys in Mombasa county are lagging behind in academic achievement.

1.2.1 Purpose

To establish the degree of the boy child’s empowerment and how it impacts on academic achievement among boys in lower primary schools.

1.2.2 Objectives

These were:

  1. To explore strategies of empowering the boy child used in the school setting
  2. To find out how regularity of school empowerment activities impact on academic achievement among the boys in lower primary.
  3. To establish the challenges of boy child empowerment in lower primary.
  4. To find out the strategies that are used to mitigate challenges facing boy child’s empowerment in school setting.

 

1.2.3 Research Questions

  1. What are the strategies used to empower boys in primary schools?
  2. How do regular empowerment programs for boys impact academic performance activities in primary schools?
  3. What are the challenges facing boy child empowerment in primary schools?
  4. Which strategies are used to solve the challenges facing boys’ empowerment in primary schools?

 

1.3 Significance of the Study

Curriculum developers at lower levels of education may find the information from this study very beneficial during curriculum development because it addresses a pre-existing gap in education. They may consider incorporating components of boy child empowerment in the curriculum both at the school and teacher training levels. They would propose that a deliberate social empowerment programme for both girls and boys be incorporated into the lower primary school syllabus in the next revision. Child rights activists may also use the findings of this study to create more awareness in the society about the place of the boy child and lobby other stakeholders to come to his rescue, by funding school based empowerment.

 

1.4 Limitations and Delimitations

This section presents the challenges faced and the scope of the study in two respective subsections.

 

1.4.1 Limitations

The major challenge in this study was the tendency of parents and guardians to be skeptical about their children participating in the research. The researcher did a thorough sensitization of the subject of study among caregivers prior to the data collection to mitigate the identified concerns. This ensured that parents were comfortable with their children taking part in the research.

1.4.2 Delimitations

Although there are many factors that may affect the boy child and negatively influence his academic performance and general performance in life, this study only narrowed down on the role played by boy child empowerment. Additionally, the researcher conducted the study in one constituency in the entire Mombasa County due to constraints of time and financial resources. Age limit also confined the researcher to lower primary, though the research findings can comfortably be applied to older groups of children with similar characteristics in upper classes. Despite these constraints, the research findings are valid and authentic because the tools and methods used were carefully chosen to suit the study population. The results of this study could be generalized to other constituencies with similar set-ups.

 

1.5 Assumptions of the Study

The main assumption during this study was that all the respondents in this study would be honest in their responses.

 

1.6 Theoretical Framework

The theory that guided this study is Marc Zimmerman’s Empowerment Theory (1995). The theory asserts that empowerment is both a process and an outcome. He states that the desired outcome of empowerment is usually an end product of a long process. This process includes the incorporation of specific actions, activities and structures (Zimmerman, 2015). In this particular study, the desired product of empowerment was an improved academic performance among the boys while the process entailed active involvement of the boy in relevant school activities such as symposia, engagement in leadership positions and extra- curricular activities. The other specific activities that constituted the empowerment process in this study included increased talks about positive self-image, self-awareness teaching, and increased engagement of male teachers as role models as well as involve parents and guardians of the boys in more of the school activities.

In his later work, Zimmerman supported his earlier stand by stating that empowerment at the individual level requires one to give and receive help in a mutual process that focuses on gaining control over one’s life (Zimmerman & Warschausky, 1998). In other words, the object of empowerment must play an active role to play in his empowerment process. In this study, active involvement of the boy child will be observed as indicated above. The study endeavored to use activities and strategies that fully involve the boy child actively. In as much as Zimmerman believed in the use of tangible ways to initiate empowerment, he admitted that the process, incorporating the exact ways in which empowerment can occur is difficult to assess. This is due to its dynamic nature and is thus studied using qualitative methods (Zimmerman & Warschausky, 2014).

Since empowerment is a psychological process in which individuals are aided to think positively about their own abilities and gain full mastery over issues at individual and social levels, it is not very easy to measure the process. The outcome of the empowerment becomes an indicator of the efficacy of the empowerment process (Zimmerman, 2015). This aspect of the theory was applied to this study. The researcher did not aim at measuring the process, but rather, the outcome which in this case was academic performance. He further identified intrapersonal, interactional and behavioral outcomes of empowerment as the aspects that are easily measurable. (Zimmerman & Warschausky, 2015). The intrapersonal component is the person’s set of beliefs about their control, self-efficacy, and perceived competence. The interactional component on the other hand includes one’s relationship to their social environment and how it impacts on the person’s intrapersonal view. Finally, the behavioral component focuses on a person’s actions taken to exert some control over the environment.

In this study, the child’s interactional component was studied, and its effects on his intrapersonal aspect analyzed. Specifically, the activities incorporated in the empowerment program were studied against the academic performance. A positive outcome was desired, and it indicated that the intrapersonal component was positively enhanced.

1.7 Conceptual Framework

There are a number of strategies that teachers could use to empower the boy child. These strategies and their probable impact on the boy child academic performance are presented in figure 1.1.

Fig. 1.1 Effects of Boy Child empowerment on Academic Achievement

From the above illustration, the independent variable is boy child empowerment while the boy child academic performance is the dependent variable. After the boy has been put through an intensive program of empowerment that includes imparting vital skills, life values, availing male teachers, guidance and counseling, providing a boy child friendly environment and more parent/ guardian involvement in the empowerment process, the outcomes achieved were better academic performance as indicated by the test scores, more participation in school activities and more confidence.

1.8 Operational Definition of Terms

These terms are defined as used in the report.

Academic Achievement: Pupils’ performance measured over a specific period of time

Boy Child: A male pupil between five and eight years.

Caregivers: The people who have a significant role in the life of a child

Empowerment: All activities done towards ensuring that the boy gets to acquire confidence in himself

Friendly environment: An environment that is non-threatening to boys and that allows for optimal learning

Vital Skills: Abilities possessed by boys as a result of empowerment  

 

CHAPTER TWO

REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

2.1 Introduction

This chapter presents literature on the concept of boy child empowerment and boys’ academic achievement. The chapter also presents information from studies that have focused on the relationship between boy child empowerment and his academic achievement. The chapter also discusses literature on challenges facing boy child’s empowerment, strategies to manage the challenges and a summary of the gaps identified.

Related Topic  Importance of Effective Utilization of Adequate Instructional Materials for Learners with Mental Retardation in Special Schools

 

2.2 The Strategies of Boy Child Empowerment

This subsection presents a discussion on the different ways used to empower boys in the school setting.

 

2.2.1 Role Modeling by Male Teachers

One of the key components of boy child empowerment is the provision of male figures that the child can look up to as models. Such males could be fathers, older brothers, male relatives, religious leaders or teachers in school (Maureen Healy, 2016). According to a CRRC (2015) report, boys in Armenia who lack male role models in their lives tend to suffer from behavioural disorders. This observation is also true for boys even where the male teachers are physically present, but there is no satisfactory interaction between them. This indicates that the place of male teachers in the life and well – being of a boy child cannot be overlooked. This study however, did not explore the relationship between the boy child empowerment and his academic achievement.

According to Magno, (Magno, 2012), only 10% of teachers in Armenia are male and furthermore, wrong beliefs about masculinity is instilled in boys both in school and in the society. Armenian society expects most boys to give financial support to their families from an early age. For this reason, dropping out of school is the only option for many boys. For those who manage to remain in school amidst such challenges, academic achievement is no longer a priority and is tremendously affected negatively. This unfortunate phenomenon exists especially in low-income families. Since the country is always plagued by wars, it is not difficult for boys to drop out of school because the education system is often unstable. School going boys do not have energy and resources to concentrate fully on their education.

According to CRRC Report (2016), it is important for boys to have male role models in the school setting. This is important for the growth and development of the boy child. This is because such male figures may not exist within families due to social issues such as divorce, separation, long distant careers and orphan hood. In many instances, such figures are present at home, but have no positive influence on the growing boy child. In such cases, there will still be a gap that needs to be filled by an appropriate male figure outside the home environment. When the boy’s life if not appropriately shaped from the early years by other significant males, they are likely to engage in juvenile crime as they negotiate the teen years (CRRC Report, 2008).This report did not however link the boy’s academic achievement to the empowerment he gets from these male figures.

In a research carried out in Lesotho and Australia, it was found that boys highly value the presence of male teachers in school. In cases where male figures were absent, it was observed that Guyanian boys sought a compensation from their peers to bridge the gap (Jha & Kelleher 2016). Boys resultantly form negative attitudes towards school and this leads to general compromise in their academic life. The research did not specifically explore how this affects academic achievement. Research in Jamaica found out that female teachers avoid disciplining boys since it is widely believed that it should be the responsibility of fathers or other male figures in the society. It is believed in Jamaica that a female disciplining a male leads to a compromise in the victim’s male identity (Jha & Kelleher 2016). There is no suggestion from this research that this inaction by female teachers might be linked to the boys’ performance in school in any manner.

Since Kenya gained independence, its government has made lots of efforts to reduce social inequality and discrimination through formulation of various policies in different ministries. Bridging of gender and regional gaps has been one of the priorities of the Ministry of Education. However, in these positive efforts, the boy child has been largely ignored. The little research available does not examine in detail the relationship between boy child empowerment and his school achievement (Robinson, 2015). According to Robinson (2015), Kenyan females today show more aggressiveness and promise in education and at work place. He observed that in the school girls now participate more actively in school activities than boys. In Central counties, girls occupy up to 60% of the top 20 ranks in class. This suggests a gap that needs to be addressed through further research.

Bunyi (2014), asserts that male teachers at times molest the boy child within the school environment. This, he termed ‘negative empowerment’. In the past years, sexual harassment was only an issue common to the girl child, but today, the boy is not exempt from its dangers. The education sector must therefore not turn a blind eye to the boy, because he is not as socially safe as is purported. The stakeholders need to invest more resources in research and empowerment of the boy child. He needs more protection than ever before.

2.2.2 Encouraging a Positive Schooling Culture among Boys

Culture has a negative impact against the empowerment of boys. The traditional communities value labour above schooling making education a nearly optional part of life that depends on agriculture. In such communities, manual labour is prioritized at the expense of academic work and success. Therefore, rates of absenteeism, grade repetition, and dropouts are high (UNICEF Armenia, 2015).

In Slovakia, many boys do not attend school at all due to economic and social factors. Such boys lack school fees, uniforms and important stationery (CRRC, 2016). This means that maximum empowerment of boys cannot be achieved without addressing the factors that directly influence them.

 

2.2.3 Equipping Teachers to Empower Boys

Stereotype based on gender is another factor that has contributed to lack of boys’ empowerment. Teachers in most developing countries have not been fully equipped to handle gender- related challenges that they might face in the course of their teaching. They are not aware of how using particular methods of teaching could disadvantage one gender or another. This is a gap in education that needs urgent address at the teacher training level (UNICEF, 2016). GNC (2004), cites that the traditional and cultural practices contribute negatively towards the empowerment of a boy child. During and after rites such as circumcision, boys are taught their roles as though they were already adults. They are made to feel that they are breadwinners for their families at a very tender age, and this leads them to drop out of school.

 

2.2.4 Application of Class Strategies to Boost Boys’ Confidence

  • Assignment of duties and responsibilities.

When boys are assigned school duties such as class prefects, facilitators of discussion groups during learning, officials in various clubs and societies, it is always observed that their general confidence is enhanced. Such boys usually exhibit a generally positive attitude towards schooling (Robinson, 2009).

 

  • Instilling positive values in the boys.

School boys who continually get instructed on the benefits of positive values such as respect, honesty and time consciousness often portray better coping ability in school life. They are less likely to drop out of school and perform better in school life. It is usually observed that most of them cannot be easily persuaded into bad decisions by their peers. Consequently, the relationship among the boys become friendlier and more peaceful (CRRC, 2016).

 

  • Leading by example/ Role modelling.

When teachers intentionally endeavor to demonstrate positive behavior that the boys can easily imitate, the boys are positively impacted (Bunyi, 2014).

 

  • Celebrating their accomplishments.

Teachers should consciously make efforts to recognize and reward the daily little achievements of boys in their schools. This will motivate them to behave the same way another time. (Bunyi, 2014).

 

  • Encouraging boys to make decisions and deal with consequences.

Caregivers should avoid the temptation to always make decisions for children. Boys should be given space to make choices about their daily life activities such as what to eat for snacks or what game to play. When boys are thus empowered, they became more engaged in school activities, and feel appreciated and valued (GNC, 2004).

  • Teaching them self -care skills.

Children should be taught self-care skills skills such as personal hygiene and how to relate with strangers in school. It is a common observation that when boys are capable of taking care of themselves from early years, they become more confident, active and more aware of their surroundings as a result (UNICEF, 2013). As a result of the acquisition of self –care skills, boys become self-managers in school while teachers assume the role of guides and not instructors. (Bunyi, 2014).

 

  • Building problem solving skills in boys enables them to be confident and boosts their self-esteem. Consequently, they do better in general academic life (Barnejee and Kremer, 2012).

 

2.3. Regularity of Boy Child Empowerment Programs and Impact on Academic Achievement

This sub-section presents a review of literature about the regularity of boy child empowerment programs in lower primary schools and the impact of such programs on academic performance.

 

2.3.1 Regularity of boy child empowerment programs

There are no regular empowerment programs for boys in schools across the globe. Stereotypes based on gender is a factor that has contributed to this deficiency. The society has held a false notion that boys are self-sufficient. They are believed to have the capability to face life challenges without problems (UNICEF, 2014). As a result, the education systems do not consciously design or implement boy-specific empowerment programs in schools. Furthermore, teachers in most developing countries have not been fully equipped to handle boy- related challenges that they might face in the course of their teaching. They are not aware of how using particular methods of teaching could disadvantage one gender or another. This is a gap in education that needs urgent address at the teacher training level (UNICEF, 2014).

GNC (2004), cites that the traditional and cultural practices contribute negatively towards the empowerment of a boy child. During and after rites such as circumcision, boys are taught their roles as though they were already adults. They are made to feel that they are breadwinners for their families at a very tender age, and this leads them to drop out of school. This, coupled with a lack of intentional empowerment programs, leaves the boy child disempowered (GNC, 2004).

 

2.3.2 Boy Child Academic Achievement

In their work (Jha & Kelleher (2012), reviewed research from Australia, United Kingdom and the United States and linked homophobia to boys’ underperformance in education. If no remedy is given in the cases of these boys, they end up fixated and hate masculinity. Once a negative attitude has been cultivated in the mind towards oneself and education, it is unlikely that the boy will achieve his potential in academics. This study however did not link the boy’s academic achievement to empowerment opportunities available. This gap can only be filled through further research. Although basic education is free in Armenia, other costs associated with it like uniforms, books and teachers’ salaries are expensive. This prevents children from accessing this basic right, especially boys who are introduced to work at an early age. These costs are a big burden for families and many of them opt against sending their children to school (Jha & Kelleher, 2012).

In Australia, boys who prefer school work to sports are ridiculed. Boys who prefer literature and social sciences are ridiculed by their peers who prefer more technical subjects like maths and sciences. This environment of negative branding instils negative attitudes towards school in the victims and makes them hate schooling. With their enthusiasm in academic work lost, they eventually drop out of school or they drop in performance (CRRC 2015, Jha & Kelleher 2016). In Latin America and Caribbean regions, girls perform better than boys in school. It was also observed that boys repeat primary school grades more often than girls. Boys’ underperformance and reduced participation in education is increasingly a problem in those regions (UNESCO 2009).

Boys in these countries grow with the notion that work is masculine responsibility while education is a feminine affair. Boys do not see the benefits of remaining in school, and so they drop out. The range of this problem varies from country to country though. This is a faulty notion that needs to be promptly addressed (Jha & Kelleher 2016). Establishing proper leadership systems in schools can help boys to be more cooperative, confident and have a sense of ownership of their education. When teachers have a wide comprehension of their pupils’ economic, social and religious backgrounds, they are better positioned to attend to their needs and handle them in a way that they feel respected. If this is done, boys will feel that the school environment is welcoming, and will seek to participate more in their quest for education (Jha & Kelleher, 2016).

 

2.4. Challenges of Boy Child Empowerment in Schools

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in Armenia reduced the number of male adults in the families and in schools. Many boys also dropped out of school to join the workforce. Several Armenian men actively engaged in the war. They left home and work to the battle field. Consequently, the boys lacked male models. This effect was also experienced in the schools where most male teachers were absent for similar reasons. This discouraged many Armenian boys from continuing with their education (Poghosyan, 2015). In the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia and Sierra Leone, fathers and male teachers have either been killed during war or are engaged in war and are absent from home. Children from the affected families are often found in refugee camps or in the camps for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) where there are very few male models (UNICEF, 2013).

In Kenya, a similar situation has been experienced since the major Post-Election Violence of 2007/2008. Many children were orphaned and left without the father figures at home. This, together with other factors like parental separation and divorce, leave the boy child at a disadvantage (UNICEF Report, 2013). In the school setting, the greatest challenges hindering the proper empowerment of boys include; the assumption that boys are tough and can navigate life challenges on their own, insufficiency of male role models within the school, ill equipment of teachers with necessary skills and knowledge required for boy child empowerment and limited resources to support the empowerment programmes (MOE Kenya, 2012).

All over the developing world, young boys often engage in hawking, drug trafficking and hard labour at the expense of going to school. It is a common scene for boys in lower primary years to be seen along the streets of Lusaka, Zambia, hawking groundnuts (MOE Zambia, 2010). In Kenya, the situation is the same. Boys from poor families often engage in economic activities at the expense of quality education. This is more common in areas like Nyandarua, Mwea, and Murang’a (MOE, 2011).

 

2.5 Strategies to Manage the Challenges Facing Boy Child Empowerment.

The presence of male teachers in schools must be valued. They are role models to boys. The ministries of education should ensure that in the deployment of teachers, male teachers are deployed. Incentives can be used to attract and retain male teachers in the profession (CRRC 2017). Both male and female teachers should be properly trained and equipped with skills, knowledge and attitudes that will make them fit to tackle challenges facing boys in school environment. If for some reason male teachers are not deployed to a given school, male resource persons can be sought to bridge the gap (Banerjee and Kremer 2012).

In the United States younger learners are assigned older ones to mentor them. In addition to this, inspirational male speakers can be invited to schools to speak to boys. These could be successful leaders, businessmen or other personalities of influence. These positive steps could help to give the boys proper perspectives on what manhood and boyhood really entails. Boys can then easily link academic success to future endeavors. This would promote their retention levels in school

(CRRC 2016). Finally, the community needs to be sensitized to view boys as children who need support, love and guidance in life. This attitude would ensure that resources are mobilized to support them (UNICEF, 2010).

 

2.6 Summary of literature review

There is evidence that most interested parties on gender issues have put a lot of emphasis on the empowerment of the girl. Very few of them have given proper attention to the boy’s empowerment needs. It is also evident that a boy’s academic performance has a link, somewhat to social factors surrounding him. There is rich information available on boy child empowerment and academic performance. Many studies have been done to analyze the position of boy child empowerment globally, regionally and nationally. Factors that affect this type of empowerment either positively or negatively are widely known by scholars and there are suggestions and recommendations made to curb these challenges. Over the recent years, it has come to educators’ attention that boys are dismally performing in academics as compared to girls. This has come as a social shock since in the past, boys were always in the lead.

Naturally, most parts of the world being patriarchal societies, this shift in performance is not welcome in many nations and is a cause of worry to many leaders. The major point of controversy in the analyzed literature is the fact that many scholars associate the drop in boys’ achievement in school to neglect in empowerment, yet there are several other factors that could lead to this drop. For instance, in Armenia, there are other socio- economic factors such as poverty that greatly have a negative impact on the boys’ underachievement. First, there is no ready literature directly relating the role of male teachers and the academic achievement of boys. Secondly, there is also no adequate literature showing whether boys taught by predominantly female teachers perform dismally in academics. The role of attitude is not adequately explored in relation to academic achievement. There is evidently a gap in knowledge as to whether empowering boys in early childhood influences their academic achievement positively or not. Much of the knowledge available concerns older children and this leaves the formative years unattended and under researched. This gap in knowledge made this study very relevant and critical, especially at such a time that every educator is concerned with making better the life of the Kenyan child, regardless of the gender. The variables concerned are both of a contemporary nature.

Related Topic  Importance of Effective Utilization of Adequate Instructional Materials for Learners with Mental Retardation in Special Schools

 

CHAPTER THREE

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY

3.1 Introduction

This chapter presents research designs and methodology used. It specifies details such as the approaches used, sampling techniques, target population, location of the study and the sample size. The choice and use of research instruments, data collection procedures and techniques used to analyze data are also elaborated in this chapter.

 

3.2 Research Design

This study adopted the descriptive research design. This design seeks to explore the strategies and challenges of boy child empowerment and how academic performance is consequently affected. This design was chosen because the data collected was qualitative in nature and very in depth. There was therefore need for the researcher to describe the characteristics of the group under study using words, thus making this design the most appropriate to use. The researcher explored the role that boy child empowerment played on academic performance.

 

3.2.1 Study Variables

The two variables under study were boy child empowerment (Independent Variable) and academic performance (Dependent Variable). Boy child empowerment entailed all the activities within the school setting that were geared towards making the boy more proactive towards school and learning. It included male modelling by teachers and involvement of boys in leadership positions in school. Academic performance was measured through administration of tests.

3.2.2 Location of the Study

This study was conducted in six public primary schools within Shanzu Ward Kisauni Constituency, Mombasa County in Kenya. This area was chosen because according to the Kisauni Sub- County Education Report of 2015/2016, it was observed that the average performance of boys had tremendously dropped among lower grades as compared to the previous years. The report further indicated that in this region, so many empowerment programmes have been initiated and implemented to support girl child education, protection and development. However, there were very few similar programmes in support of the boy child. This being a tourist region where girls run the risk of dropping out of school to lead the beach life, educationists and the society as a whole easily got worried and thus joined hands to try help the girl stay in school through empowerment talks. No significant efforts had been made for the boys, yet boys are equally lured into juvenile criminal activities in equal measure. It was also evident that boys drop out of school early to work as beach boys, in some instances as early as pre- teen years. This made this locality very suitable for the study.

 

3.3 Target Population

The population of interest in this study was the lower primary (Grade 1 up to Grade 3) school boys in the public schools in this region. This age group was chosen because it comprises the early childhood years according to the Kenyan classification system. Public schools were preferred because they possess similar characteristics in terms of policies, curriculum , teachers and resources. According to the County Education Report (2014/2015), these six schools (A, B, C, D, E and F) had realized a total learner enrolment of 1,926 in the lower primary with 900 being girls and 1,026 being boys of the age of between 5-8 years. The target populations of this study were 1,026 boys (N). The distribution per school is shown in the table below.

Table 3.1: Target Population

S/Q SCHOOL CLASS 1 CLASS 2 CLASS 3 TOTAL
1 A 60 53 44 157
2 B 61 55 56 172
3 C 67 60 53 180
4 D 72 70 59 201
5 E 49 56 43 148
6 F 58 58 52 168
Total 367 352 307 1026

 

3.4 Sampling Techniques and Sample Size Determination

 

3.4.1 Sampling Technique

In this study, the researcher used purposive sampling technique to select the county, sub- county and zone of study. This was so because of convenience in proximity. Simple random sampling method was used to select learners that formed the sample. The simple random method ensured that each learner had an equal opportunity of forming part of the sample. It was the most appropriate sampling technique since it gave equal chances for selection among the boys as some schools had more than one stream per class. The sampled learners were used as a representation of the entire population.

3.4.2 Sample Size

Since the population size was not too large, the researcher sampled one third of the population so as to get an adequate representation of the population. From the population (N) of 1,026 boys, this means that only 342 boys formed the sample (n).

 

3.5 Research Instruments

This study used questionnaires, interview schedules and achievement tests to collect information from respondents. All these instruments were self- made and administered by the researcher.

 

3.5.1 Questionnaires

The researcher used these to collect data from the class teachers. The teacher questionnaires presented items that relate to the study objectives such as the empowerment programmes in the school, target groups for the programmes, empowerment strategies/ methods used specific school activities that comprise the empowerment program and any challenges faced by the teachers when empowering the learners. It had two sections: Section A and B. Section A contained the demographic information about the teacher such as gender, age of learners handled, grade of the learners and work experience of the teacher. Section B directly targeted information related to the variables of study such as empowerment activities done in the school, academic progress of the children and challenges faced during empowerment programme. The researcher used both open and close ended questionnaires so as to yield as rich information as possible from the caregivers. The reason for choosing questionnaires in this study was that it has the advantage of anonymity for respondents who may not be comfortable in identifying themselves. The researcher administered the questionnaires in the month of February, 2018.

3.5.2 Interview Schedules

These were used alongside the questionnaires. They were administered to the sampled teachers. According to Mugenda and Mugenda (2010), interview guides/ schedules are suitable in guiding the interviewer to be responsive to individual differences and situational characteristics. The schedule indicated name of respondent, time, place, gender, occupation and age. Questions that the respondents were to answer to were also included. They are flexible and can yield higher responses accurately. This flexibility in the administration of the interviews informed the researcher’s decision to use the instrument.

 

3.5.3 School records

Document analysis was done on records obtained from the head teachers’ offices and class teachers in the selected schools. These documents included class registers, past examination results for sampled learners and admission records. The main purpose of examining these records was to establish the trend of boys’ achievement in class and its effects such as ability to transit from one class to the next. The information gathered was useful in supplementing data collected using the questionnaires and interviews. The researcher ensured that the officers in charge of these documents are given a prior notice to avail them in good time.

3.5.4 Achievement Tests

The tests were in the form of Continuous Assessment Tests (CATs) and end of term examination. The content of the tests was within the scope covered in the syllabi for each class, and was uniform across the six schools. The researcher achieved this in collaboration with the respective class teachers and subject teachers. The children’s performance was compared across the period and the results acted as a basis for rejecting or accepting the study hypotheses.

 

3.6 Pre- testing/ Pilot study

The researcher first became certain on the reliability and validity of the instruments and tools to use through a pilot study before the actual research.

 

3.6.1 Pilot Study

The researcher conducted a pilot study in three schools that were not part of the final sample. Children in grades 1-3 were used as the pilot study sample. The main purpose of the pilot study was to test the tools and techniques that were to be used in the actual study. Preschool teachers were given questionnaires to answer to. Achievement tests were also given to the learners. Weaknesses in the tools were identified and corrected in preparation for the actual study.

 

3.6.2 Instrument Reliability

The test-re-test method was used to measure reliability of the developed questionnaires. This was done by giving out questionnaires to some respondents and after a lapse of 2 weeks, the same questionnaires were given out to the same group of respondents. The correlation between the two responses was then calculated using the Pearson’s Product Moment correlation. The instrument was thus confirmed as reliable and employed in this study.

3.6.3 Instrument Validity

To ensure this, the researcher consulted widely with the supervisors and other early childhood research experts. This was done before the administration of the tools. To ensure the validity of the classroom achievement tests, the researcher worked hand in hand with the subject teachers in the process of setting the tests to make sure that the tests were set within the scope of the syllabus.

 

3.7 Data Collection

The research tools were used to gather data from the respondents. The questionnaire was given to the sampled teachers at the beginning of the term. The observation schedule was used to guide the researcher in data collection. During observation, the researcher made sure that the natural environment was not altered in any way. This would ensure that the respondents behave as naturally as possible. The interviews were done once for each school sampled. The achievement test was administered twice; during the mid-term and at the end of the school term. They were done without altering the physical environment. Both boys and girls did the exams. The scores were then recorded for all the boys.

 

3.8 Data Analysis

The researcher then checked the questionnaires to ascertain whether they had been answered appropriately. Data collected using the different tools was compared for corroboration. Qualitative data were analyzed per objective. The researcher identified the themes and patterns that arose from the responses and attached meanings and significance to the coded data. Quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive methods. Frequency distribution tables, were then used to present the analyzed data. Percentages were calculated from the responses out of the total study sample response per item.

3.9 Logistical and Ethical Considerations

This subsection presents the logistical and ethical factors that were considered during this research.

 

3.9.1 Logistical Considerations

After securing permission to conduct research from Kenyatta University Graduate School and NACOSTI, the researcher then visited the sampled schools to brief the school heads and class teachers about the purpose of the intended study. The researcher then began the process of gathering data over a period of one academic term (three months) and maintained a proper communication network with relevant officers and authorities all through the period to ensure proper coordination of planned activities. Parental consent was also sought for them to allow their children to take part in the research.

 

3.9.2 Ethical Considerations

High level of confidentiality was maintained throughout the research period. No participant was coerced or manipulated to take part in this study. Participation was on a voluntary basis and without any monetary attraction. The researcher did not use lies or false promises to earn participants’ cooperation. It was purely out of informed consent and a balanced use of all the prepared tools in data collection was ensured to minimize bias.

 

CHAPTER FOUR

PRESENTATION OF FINDINGS, INTERPRETATION AND DISCUSSION

4.1 Introduction

This section presents analysis and findings of the study as set out in the research objectives and methodology. The demographic information is first presented, followed by findings for challenges facing boy child empowerment and ways of mitigating them. The objectives of this study were;

a) to explore strategies of empowering the boy child in school setting,

b) to investigate how the regularity of school empowerment activities impact on the academic performance among the boys in lower primary,

c) to establish the challenges of boy child empowerment in lower primary,

d) to find out the strategies that could be used to mitigate challenges facing boy child’s empowerment in school setting.

 

4.2 General and Demographic Information

The researcher used the following demographics and the findings were as follows;

 

4.2.1 Response Rate

The sample size of the study was 342 primary school boys and 18 teachers. For the actual study, the sampled group of boys was exposed to empowerment strategies and then observed for any positive changes in their general academic performance. The researcher also gave out two exams, one at the beginning, and another at the end of the term. Out of the 342 learners, 338 were able to successfully do both rounds of exams, which was a 98.83% turnout. The researcher also distributed 18 teacher questionnaires. 83.33% response rate was realized and was characterized as being very good. This response rate was an excellent representation of the study with regard to Mugenda & Mugenda (2013) who stipulated that a response rate of 70% and over is excellent. The non-response was 16.67% which was attributed to the fact that some respondents were away from their various stations of work on some official duties.

4.2.2 Gender of the Respondents

Respondents were asked to state their gender (male or female). Table 4.2 shows that the majority of the respondents were female comprising 73.3% while male were 26.7%. The margin however, is major (46.6%); a clear indication that many female are employed in the pre-school education. This is further illustrated in Table 4.2.

Table 4.1 Gender of the Respondents

Gender Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Male 4 26.7 26.7 26.7
Female 11 73.3 73.3 100.0
Total 15 100.0 100.0

 

4.2.3 Age of the Respondents

Respondents were asked to state their age brackets from the list provided. The results were as presented in Table 4.3. 35

 

Table 4.2 Age Bracket of the Respondents

Age Bracket (Years) Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
21-30 Years 11 73.3 73.3 73.3
31-40 Years 3 20.0 20.0 93.3
41-50 Years 1 6.7 6.7 100.0
Total 15 100.0 100.0

 

Table 4.3 shows that most respondents were in the age bracket of 21-30 years making a larger 73.3% followed by age bracket of 31 – 40 years with 20.0% and age bracket of 41 – 50 years with only 6.7%. The implication is that many young teachers are employed or seek for employment in the pre-school schools. However, as the age increases, they either further their education and join other educational cadre or change their profession in totality. The boys’ ages (3-8years) were already pre- determined at the sampling stage.

 

4.2.4 Academic Qualifications of the Respondents

Respondents were asked to select from the list provided their academic qualifications. The options were certificate, diploma and degree levels. The results are presented in Table 4.4. As shown in Table 4.4, the majority of the respondents were diploma graduates, followed by certificate graduate teachers and the degree level having a very small representation (6.7%). This is an indication that many pre-school teachers are diploma holders.

Table 4.3 Academic Qualifications of the Respondents

Academic Qualifications Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Certificate 4 26.7 26.7 26.7
Diploma 10 66.7 66.7 93.3
Degree 1 6.7 6.7
Total 15 100.0 100.0 100.0

 

4.2.5 Period Worked by the Respondents in their Current Station

Respondents were asked to state the period in years of the time that they have worked in the then current station. The findings showed that a larger percentage (60%) had worked in their current schools for the period of 11- 20 years, followed by 31- ≥40 years accumulating 26.7%. The findings further showed that those who had worked for ≤ 10 years and 21 – 30 years had both 6.7%

 

Table 4.4 Period Worked by the Respondents in their Current Stations

Period Worked (Years) Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
≤ 10 Years 1 6.7 6.7 6.7
11 – 20 Years 9 60.0 60.0 66.7
21 – 30 Years 1 6.7 6.7 73.3
31-≥40 Years 4 26.7 26.7
Total 15 100.0 100.0 100.0

 

4.3 Strategies of Empowering the Boy Child in School Setting

The first task in this study was to explore the strategies used by lower primary teachers to empower boys in school. The teachers interviewed were asked to state the methods that they used to empower boys in their schools. The response and findings from the teachers indicated that the boys were empowered in the following ways:

 

4.3.1Assignment of duties and responsibilities

Teachers claimed that they often appointed boys as class prefects and as heads of groups during class activities. This was in line with Robinsons (2009) argument that boys’ confidence was enhanced when they were assigned such responsibilities.

 

4.3.2 Instilling positive values in the boys

The teachers indicated that when in school, the boys were continually instructed on the benefits of positive values such as respect, honesty and time consciousness. They consequently observed that most of the boys could not be easily persuaded into bad decisions by their peers. As a result, the relationship among the boys became friendlier and more peaceful. This concurs with the CRRC Report (2016), which suggested that empowered boys are less problematic than their peers.

 

4.3.3 Leading by example/ Role modelling

The teachers claimed that they intentionally endeavored to demonstrate positive behavior that the boys would easily imitate. This strategy is in agreement with literature reviewed. One of the key components of boy child empowerment is the provision of male figures that the child can look up to as models. Such males could be fathers, older brothers, male relatives, religious leaders or teachers in school (Maureen Healy, 2009).

4.3.4 Rewarding of good behavior.

The teachers reported that they consciously made effort to recognize and reward the daily little achievements of the boys in their schools. The reviewed literature supports this observation. Reinforcement of desired behavior results in mastery of the behavior. Furthermore, when boys expect that they will be appreciated for good behavior, they are likely to make more effort to do it again (Bunyi, 2010).

 

4.3.5 Encouraging boys to make decisions and solve daily life problems

While admitting that it was difficult for them to do it, most of the teachers reported that when they left the boys to make their own choices on minor issues like what to eat for snacks or what game to play, they became more engaged in school activities, and felt appreciated and valued. UNICEF, 2010 report supports this observation.

Related Topic  Importance of Effective Utilization of Adequate Instructional Materials for Learners with Mental Retardation in Special Schools

 

4.3.6 Teaching self -care skills

The teachers taught the boys skills such as personal hygiene and how to relate with strangers. They observed that the boys became more confident, active and more aware of their surroundings as a result. The teachers allowed the boys to demonstrate their abilities to self-manage. The teachers only played the roles of guides and not instructors. The confidence levels of the boys was greatly enhanced. This observation confirms reviewed literature (UNICEF, 2010).

 

4.4. Regularity of School Empowerment Activities and its influence on Academic Performance

The second task of this study was to establish the relationship between the regularity of school empowerment activities and academic performance among the boys in lower primary. The findings were as follows:

4.4.1 Regularity of school empowerment activities

The researcher asked the respondents to select from the scale of 1 – 5 the question on “My school holds regular empowerment programs specifically for boys”. (1=Strongly Agree, 2= Agree, 3= Uncertain, 4= Disagree, 5= Strongly Disagree). The following table shows the results.

 

Table 4.5 Empowerment for all Pupils Regularly

Type of response Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Strongly Disagree 5 33.3 33.3 33.3
Disagree 2 13.3 13.3 46.7
Uncertain 5 33.3 33.3 80.0
Agree 3 20.0 20.0 100.0
Total 15 100.0 100.0

 

The results on regular empowerment for boys shows that those who strongly agree and those who are uncertain are tying at 33.3% indicating that the empowerment program for all pupils were at minimal. None of the teachers agreed that there were regular empowerment programmes for boys. This is an indication that a majority of the schools studied did not have boy-specific well-structured empowerment programs in their day-to-day activities. The GNC report of 2004 proposed that the cultures around the globe condition us to believe that boys do not need any extra empowerment, and so, schools are reluctant in allocating resources towards the same (GNC, 2004).

4.4.2 Academic Performance

From a review of past academic reports of the boys and the test scores in the examinations administered to them during the study, there was a clear indication that boys from schools where there were more regular empowerment programmes, performed better than their counterparts in other schools. Out of the six schools, only two had strategies for boys’ empowerment implemented. Consequently, these two schools scored highest in the achievement tests given to the boys during the study. This observation agrees with the GNC report of 2004 which indicates that when boys are empowered, they tend to improve in their academic performance and school life in general.

 

4.5 Challenges of Boy Child Empowerment in Lower Primary

The third task that this study sought to accomplish was to establish the challenges of boy child empowerment in lower primary school. The findings were as discussed in the sub sections below:

 

4.5.1 Teachers’ ability to empower boys.

To obtain this information, teachers were asked to respond to the statement; I am well equipped to conduct empowerment programs for boys. The responses were as presented in table 4.8.

Table 4.6 Response to “I am well equipped to conduct empowerment programs for boys”

Type of Response Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Disagree 1 6.7 6.7 6.7
Uncertain 8 53.3 53.3 60.0
Agree 6 40.0 40.0 100.0
Total 15 100.0 100.0

 

The teachers were given questionnaires with items that they were to check depending on their level of affirmation along a scale of 1-5 where (1=Strongly Agree, 2= Agree, 3= Uncertain, 4= Disagree, 5= Strongly Disagree).

The result shows that 53.3% were uncertain whether they were equipped with skills to conduct empowerment programmes for boys, 40% agree while 6.7% disagree. None of the respondents strongly disagree neither strongly agree. This has the implications that some teachers were quite conversant with empowerment programmes in their schools. This finding is concurrent to the (UNICEF, 2008) and the (GNC, 2004) reports that indicate that stereotypes based on gender is another factor that has contributed to lack of boys’ empowerment. Teachers in most developing countries have not been fully equipped to handle gender- related challenges that they might face in the course of their teaching. They were also not aware of how using particular methods of teaching could disadvantage one gender or another.

 

4.5.2 Role of the curriculum in boys’ empowerment

The teachers were asked to respond to the statement; the curriculum adequately incorporates skills appropriate for boy child empowerment. The responses were as presented in table 4.7.

 

Table 4.7 Incorporation of boy empowerment skills in the curriculum

Type of Response Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Strongly Disagree 7 46.7 46.7 46.7
Disagree 2 13.3 13.3 60.0
Uncertain 1 6.7 6.7 66.7
Agree 5 33.3 33.3 100.0
Total 15 100.0 100.0

 

The result shows that 46.7% strongly disagreed, 33.3% agreed, 13.3% disagreed. Only a minority was uncertain on whether curriculum adequately incorporates skills appropriate for boy empowerment in their various schools. The literature reviewed indicated that boys, traditionally got empowered during the rites of passage, where they were introduced to their roles in the society. This role seems to diminish in the school setting (GNC, 2013). In this sense, there is a gap in the school curriculum. It does not adequately have intentionally designed components to empower boys.

4.5.3 Male teachers as role models to boys in school

This information was obtained by asking the teachers to respond to the question; ‘male teachers in my school are good role models to the boys.’ The responses were as presented in table 4. 8.

 

Table 4.8 Male teachers as good role models to the boys

Type of Response Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Strongly Disagree 5 33.3 33.3 33.3
Disagree 5 33.3 33.3 66.7
Uncertain 4 26.7 26.7 93.3
Agree 1 6.7 6.7 100.0
Total 15 100.0 100.0

 

The result shows that those who strongly disagree and those who agree were both at 33.3%, those who were uncertain were at 26.7% and 6.7% agree that male teachers in their schools were role model to the boys. However, none of the respondent did strongly agree on the question of male teachers being role model to the boys in their schools. These findings agree with the literature reviewed. Healy for instance supported the role of models in the lives of boys. She observed that one of the key components of boy child empowerment is the provision of male figures that the child can look up to as models. Such males could be fathers, older brothers, male relatives, religious leaders or teachers in school (Maureen Healy, 2009).

The CRRC report, 2008 also emphasizes the need for male models for boys.

4.5.4 Support given to boys’ empowerment by school administrations.

To obtain this information, the teachers were asked to respond to the question; my school administration recognizes and supports activities to empower boys. Their responses were as presented in the table 4.11 below.

 

Table 4.9 School administration on recognition and support of boys’ empowerment

Support of the Empowerment by Administration Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Strongly Disagree 7 46.7 46.7 46.7
Disagree 2 13.3 13.3 60.0
Uncertain 3 20.0 20.0 80.0
Agree 3 20.0 20.0 100.0
Total 15 100.0 100.0

 

The respondents were finally asked to give their view whether the school administration support empowerment programmes for boys in their schools. The findings showed that 46.7% strongly disagree, 13.3% disagree while those who were uncertain and agree were tying at 20%. This is an indication that the schools do not support the empowerment of boys. The UNGEI report 2008 portrays a very different scenario in comparison to the empowerment of girls. Many schools recognize their role in the empowerment of girls but quite few of them recognize that boys require a similar level of commitment to be empowered (Oluoch, 2008).

 

4.6. Mitigation of Challenges Facing Boy Child Empowerment in Schools

The respondents interviewed were asked to propose solutions to the challenges they feel hinder the empowerment of boy child empowerment in their schools. The following responses were given:

  1. Equipping teachers with skills of boy child empowerment at the teacher training level
  2. Building well balanced empowerment programs that do not overemphasize the empowerment of the girl child at the expense of the boy
  3. Incorporating aspects of boy child empowerment in the school curriculum
  4. Male teachers in schools should be models of good behavior and values. This was the most frequent among all the strategies mentioned. Over two thirds of the respondents cited the role of male teachers in empowering boys as important.
  5. In the deployment of teachers to schools, there should be a fair balance in gender.
  6. School administrations to support the boy empowerment programs in their schools adequately.

 

CHAPTER FIVE

SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

5.1 Introduction

This chapter presents a summary and conclusions in relation to the study objectives. It also focuses on recommendations that are based on the study findings.

 

5.2 Summary

The teachers applied numerous strategies to empower boys in school. These included; assignment of duties and responsibilities, instilling positive values in the boys, leading by example/ role modelling, rewarding of good behavior, encouraging boys to make decisions and solve daily life problems and teaching self -care skills to the boys.

From the data collected, the teachers indicated that empowerment programmes for boys were not regular in most of the schools. Only one fifth of the teachers agreed that empowerment programs for boys were regularly done in their schools. The analysis of the collected data also indicated that boys who were exposed regular empowerment performed better in class work than their peers.

The main challenges facing boy child empowerment in schools are; inadequate male role models in schools, ignorance among the teachers, lack of enough support by school administrations and inadequate coverage of boy child empowerment by the syllabus.

The methods suggested by teachers to mitigate the challenges include: Equipping teachers with skills of boy child empowerment at the teacher training level, building of well-balanced empowerment programs that do not overemphasize the empowerment of the girl child at the expense of the boy, incorporating aspects of boy child empowerment in the school curriculum, male teachers in schools should be models of good behavior and values. In the deployment of teachers to schools, there should be a fair balance in gender. School administrations to support the boy empowerment programs in their schools adequately.

 

5.3 Conclusions

This study has led to five main conclusions.

  • Firstly, the strategies used to empower boys are effective because they resulted in better academic performance. The most outstanding strategy for boy child empowerment according to the findings is the use of male teachers as role models.
  • Secondly, the findings reveal that there are no regular empowerment programs for boys in schools. This results in the boys missing out on opportunities for empowerment.
  • Thirdly, the findings indicate that the empowerment of boys in schools face several challenges that negatively impact the boys. The male teachers are conspicuously missing in the schools, especially in the lower primary classes. In cases where the male teachers are available, they lack the skills and knowledge on how to empower the boys in schools. Furthermore, there is no adequate coverage of the topic of boy child empowerment in the curriculum, both at the school and the teacher training levels.
  • Fourthly, it emerged that the challenges of boy child empowerment can be mitigated at three levels. These include the school, curriculum development and policy making levels.
  • Lastly, the findings indicate that boy child empowerment has a direct role in influencing academic performance of the child. In the case of this study, it was evident that when boys are consciously empowered, they score higher marks in class than before.

 

5.4 Recommendations

According to the conclusions on the findings discussed above, the researcher hereby makes the following recommendations:

 

5.4.1 Recommendations for policy developers.

The curriculum developers should incorporate components of boy child empowerment in the lower primary and teacher training levels.

 

5.4.2 Recommendations for school management

  1. In the deployment and employment of teachers, the Teachers’ Service Commission should ensure that the each school has male and female teachers to provide enough role models for both boys and girls.
  2. Enough resources in terms of time and finances should be provided to help in the process of empowering boys in the school setting.
  3. Education leaders of all ranks should use their positions to educate the society on the need to empower boys in schools.

 

5.4.3 Recommendations for further research

The researcher recommends the following for further research;

  1. The role that parents play in the empowerment process of boys in lower primary.
  2. The influence of family socio- economic class on the boy child empowerment with regard to academic performance.

 

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Appendix II: Questionnaire for Subject Teachers

Please put a star (*) to reflect your response opinion in the boxes below.

 

SECTION A: Demographics

  1. Indicate your gender? Male ( ) Female (    )
  2. Indicate your age bracket 21-30 years ( ) 31-40years (    ) 41-50years (    )
  3. What is your highest academic qualification? ______________________
  4. Is your school A. Private or B. Public?
  5. For how long have you worked at your current school? _______________

 

SECTION B.

Appropriately respond to the following questions by putting a star (*) under the SA-Strongly Agree, A-Agree, D-Disagree, SD- Strongly Disagree and U- Undecided.

NO ITEMS SA A D SD U
1 My school has empowerment programs for all pupils regularly
2 My school has specific empowerment programs for boys
3 There is a near 50-50 percent representation of both gender among teachers in my school
4 Boys in my school perform better than girls
5 I am well equipped to conduct empowerment programmes for boys
6 The curriculum adequately incorporates skills appropriate for boy empowerment
7 Male teachers in my school are good role models to the boys
8 My school administration recognizes and supports activities that empower boys

 

Appendix III: Interview Schedule for teachers

Opening

I would like to ask you some questions about boy child empowerment in your station of work. I purpose to use the information for academic purposes only. Your sincere response will be of help to me.

Demographic information.

Age of teacher……………. Gender….. School………..

Questions:

State the strategies used to empower boys in your school.

Which challenges does your school face in the process of empowering the boys in your school?

Suggest any strategies that you feel could be used to mitigate the challenges you have identified above.

Closing: Thank you very much for taking your time to respond to these questions.

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