Influence of Culture on Girl Child Education in Central Pokot Sub County, Kenya
Cultural practices such as Female Genital Mutilation, early child marriages and patriarchy have been on the rise in West Pokot despite interventions by government and non-state actors over the years. These outdated cultural practices have hindered the progress of girls academically. It is vital to educate the girl-child in society. However, teenage pregnancy gets girls at the wrong time when they are still in schools and this affects their education very much and eventually ends up ruining their future. This paper looks at how various cultural practices have affected girl child education in West Pokot County, Kenya. The study was conducted in Central Pokot Sub County primary schools targeting 12 headteachers and 120 teachers. The respondents were selected through purposive and simple random sampling. Data was collected using questionnaires and interview schedules. Data collected were analysed using percentages and frequencies. The results of the study showed that the status of girl-child education was low. Cultural factors like; early marriages, female genital mutilation, child labour, widowhood practices and taboos influenced girl-child education. The study found out those cultural factors in the study area affected girl-child education negatively as it slowed down their transition, academic performance and also the acquisition of knowledge required at the basic education level. The study recommends that the government should take legal action against parents who take their girl-children for FGM and early marriages; there is a need for awareness on the importance of girl child education, provision of scholarships for girls at basic and tertiary level and introduction of guidance and counselling sessions in schools.
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