How school leaders address learner-related gender issue: a case study of a rural co-educational school

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Jane Rarieya

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Mweru Mwingi


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


Gender issues have attracted a lot of attention both internationally and in Kenya. Despite the fact that a number of measures have been adopted to address these issues, gender issues have continued to be manifested in schools thereby affecting girls’ and boys’ retention in schools. While a number of studies have been conducted to investigate gender issues in school, very little is known about how school leaders address these issues in schools especially in the Kenya context. This research, therefore, sought to investigate how school leaders in a co-educational school address learner related gender issues.

The study used a qualitative case study approach whereby data collection methods such as interviews, informal conversations, observation and document analysis were used. It engaged eight school leaders and 16students in interviews. The study also adopted the forum for African Educationists Gender Responsive school Center of excellence (FAWE GRS-COE) framework as a lens to study how gender issues are addressed in the schools.

Study findings reveal that gender issues such as disparities in performance, boys’ indiscipline, sexual harassment, gendered perceptions of leadership responsibilities and inadequate sanitary facilities are prevalent in the school. Findings also show that school leaders prefer to use reactionary measures such as suspension, expulsion and punishment while more effective proactive measures such as creation of awareness, use of advisory services and formulation od gender responsive policies although occasionally used have not been fully exploited.

The study therefore calls for the adoption of more proactive measures such as creation of stakeholders awareness, establishment of guidance and counseling units, formulation of explicit gender responsive policies and in-service training on gender issues in education for teachers to address gender issues. Moreover, the study raises significant issues for educational practice.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library