Human rights education and values of the girl–child : aKenyan case study
Atoyebi, Lucia Adenike
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This thesis reports on a study on human rights education and values of the girl–child in the Eastleigh community in Nairobi Kenya. The investigation indicated that her right to education is marginalised and that in the many cases cultural and religious beliefs dominate the need to equal access to education. This research identified perceived factors that may influence the infusion of human rights education and values in the teaching–learning practice of selected secondary schools in the Eastleigh community, and propose possible curriculum guidelines that are feasible to foster the education of the girl–child. The researcher explores the perception of teachers and students in four selected schools (code named A, B, C, D) in the community and analyses the extent of gender–equality in the school curriculum. Using a qualitative research approach that employed the phenomenological method of enquiry, face–to–face interviews were conducted with 20 teachers in four secondary schools, five in each school. Questionnaires were served on 200 girl–students of Grades 11 and 12, fifty per school selected using a purposeful sampling method. The curriculum in selected subjects of the secondary schools was analysed. The analyses of all the research instruments led to the discovery of the factors influencing the infusion of human rights education and values in the teaching–learning of the selected schools. Top on the list of these factors are the problems of teacher–student ignorance of human rights education and values. Other factors are gender–fair deficiency in the school curriculum, school–slum environments and combined religio–cultural dilemmas that place constraints on the educational environment of girl–children in the multicultural community. To foster the education of the girl–child, thirteen curriculum guidelines clustered under three broad groups are proposed. Firstly, under the modified curriculum content, subjects that project human rights education and values need to be made compulsory for all students, though at different class levels. Subjects with low or no gender–fair objectives need to be modified in order that human rights education and values could be taught across the school curriculum. Secondly, there is the need for context–relevant curriculum planning that embraces cultural and religious issues and communicating values in the schooling system. Thirdly, a democratic school atmosphere is the product of curriculum efforts that is geared towards training genderresponsive teachers, ensuring gender equality and promoting extracurricular activities favouring multicultural awareness and respect among students. This research contributes to the development of a curriculum engaged in advancing human rights education and values of the girl–child especially in patriarchal urban settings of East–Africa. It draws attention to the often neglected educational empowerment of the girl–child to foster her role and to provide opportunities in a contemporary global environment.
- Education