Factors affecting the participation and retention of the girl child in selected day secondary schools in Solwezi district
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This study focused on factors affecting the participation and retention of girls in secondary education in selected day secondary schools in Solwezi. The study attempted to establish factors affecting girls in day secondary schools in light of the newly upgraded day secondary schools which had attracted a number of pupils from the surrounding areas among which are girls who were living in rented huts in villages due to none availability of boarding facilities. This had resulted in number of the girls been disadvantaged in terms participation as many got pregnant before they could reach grade 12. Those that still withstand the challenges of school were also at risk in that they end up compromising their bodies in order to sustain they livelihood as time and again they had to go back home to look for food. Apart from the above, some decent girls also lose track especially when they had challenges in paying school fees as well finding extra funds to take care of their personal effects. As a result, a number of girls found themselves falling pregnant in the bid to solicit for funds from well-wishers which also came with strings attached. Besides, other girls who were coming from their parent's homes also faced difficulties in terms of movements besides they had to be in schools for longer hours with food this led to many not concentrating on academic work. Those who lived on their own as well were characterized by absenteeism from school due to none presence of adult figure to push them. Those who lived with girls coming from a background which never up held moral standards also ended up losing track of the essence on being in school. In addition, some girls also failed to participate and remain in education because they came from poverty stricken families that were unable to provide school fees and personal effects to support them with education. However, if these girls could be assisted with facilities within the school confines, where there could be a teacher assigned to work as a matron, things could change. The aspect of girls being abused in villages would reduce thereby helping to fight poverty as well as narrowing the gender gap. There was need for government to look at these issues with the seriousness they deserved; it could put secondary schools in all the areas thereby reducing the distances that prevailed in most areas thus increasing on the accessibility of secondary education by all girls. Education is a human right as such there was need for other stakeholders to come in and complement government efforts.
University of Zambia
Master of Education in Educational Management