A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF SCHOOL DROP-OUT RATES OF BOYS AND GIRLS IN THE UNIVERSAL PRIMARY EDUCATION PROGRAM IN JINJA UGANDA
The study investigated drop-out rates of boys and girls in the Universal Primary Education Program in Jinja district. The aim was to establish the differences in the drop-out rates of both genders.
Education for all by the year 2015 is a leading millennium goal for all countries that subscribe to the international community, of which Uganda is.
The need to implement this international policy is paramount among the development initiatives in our country today. The current government has put clear effort towards ensuring that all children between the age of seven and thirteen access free primary Education. However a significant number of Uganda’s children still miss out on primary Education. A question then arises why?
The study went ahead to quantify the numbers of those dropping out in selected schools which were running the government program in Jinja district.
It also made a comparison of drop-out in both genders to bring out a clear picture of who was more affected by the drop-out problem and why.
A cross-sectional survey design was used; it employed both qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection and analysis.
The study results showed marked variation in the drop-out rates of the two genders under comparison. It was evident that girls were dropping out at a slightly higher rate than the boys in all classes. This was attributed to the following factors:
Domestic chores, the Girls were more often missing school attendance in order to perform the family duties compared to their male counterparts who were excused for being male.
Lack of scholastic materials, this still the girls more, they are considered by parents and guardians the lower gender which can always miss out when resources are limited.
Low motivation also rated as a leading cause of drop-out among girls.
Both teachers and parents/guardians were reported not motivating the girls to keep in school; therefore they dropped out at a higher rate than the boys.
Among other causes were the following: Pregnancy, Loss of parents/guardians, no meals at school and commercial activities.
The school drop-out problem cut across genders.
The drop-out rate of girls is higher than that of boys in all selected schools.
Domestic problems arising out of the patriarchal nature of our society are the leading cause of drop-out in selected schools of Jinja district.
Parents/guardians should be sensitized about the dangers of keeping girls busy at home while the boys are in schools.
Further affirmative action strategies should be put in place to lift the plight of the girls.
Society should be sensitized further about the value of girl child education.