Using the lens of gender responsiveness to investigate school leadership efforts to keep girls in school: a case study of a public primary school in Kinango Sub County in Kwale County, Kenya

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Shelley Jones

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Prof. Marriote Ngwaru


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


In spite of the gender policies that Kenyan government has enacted and the NGOs interventions to support girls’ education, high dropout rates still prevail due to: in school, out of school, political and administrative factors that are still problematic. There has been a plethora of research on barriers to girls’ education although there is paucity of research on the school environment’s potential in curbing the premature termination of girls’ formal education. This qualitative case study was investigating the school leadership efforts to keep girls in school which was evaluated against the Gender Responsiveness lens as seen in the facilitation of a gender responsive school environment, school leadership that is gender sensitive, teacher’s gender responsive pedagogy and empowerment programs. Data collected consists of : interviews with the head teacher , two grade seven teachers and one girl who left schooling prematurely, three focus group discussions with six teachers , six school committee members and six grade seven girls, observations of teachers pedagogy and document analysis of the admission register, attendance register, lesson plans and discipline record book. A conceptual framework (Ref 1.2.) was used to illuminate the school characteristics that promote girls education and the Ecological theory on human development (Ref. 2.9.) provided the theoretical framework. The study findings revealed that the school leadership and the teachers’ limited knowledge on guidance and counselling and gender responsiveness was restraining them from empowering girls to cope with the challenges in teen years. The study targeted one primary school in Kinango Sub County, Kenya and the findings calls for a comprehensive training of teachers on gender responsiveness, guidance and counselling at all levels of teacher education to enable them address gender issues in schools hence curb girls’ dropout.

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