Over emphasis on the education of the girl child, social cultural and traditional pressures have negatively impacted on the boy child and the effects are reflected in the dismal performance of boys in national examinations.
Based on the analysis of the 2017 KCPE results best performers were girls and the boy child is lagging behind in almost all the schools across the country.
A spot check by KNA in several schools within Thika town and its environs revealed that exclusion of the boy child in gender issues and various interventions put in place to promote the rights of a girl child, have ended up pushing the boy child to the periphery.
According to Collins Muriuki, a 14 year old student from Wankan Education Center in Ruiru who managed to score 393 points in last year’s KCPE, parents were to blame for the low self esteem on the boy child as most of the time they were more concerned about the safety and well being of the girls, thus neglecting the boy child assuming that boys were capable of taking care of themselves.
There is too much expectation from the boy child from all circles yet we are merely children ourselves and are therefore overwhelmed by the demands placed on us. lamented Muriuki.
Why should my mother for instance, ask me to go out in the wee hours of the night to check why the dog is barking, and if it is not safe for my sister, what makes her imagine that is safe for me?He quipped
Bradley Anjere, a14 year old boy from St. Peters Academy Juja who scored 424 marks pointed out that over focus on the girl child by the government and NGOs in terms of programs and interventions to empower the girls, have made the boys feel neglected thus affecting their performance in school and other circles, including institutions of higher learning.
He further pointed out that traditional expectations that tend to push the boy child to an early maturity compared to girls deny the former the opportunity to grow up in an environment of tender care and love from both parents.
Every standard eight boy knows that he will be propelled to a compulsory maturity process through circumcision immediately after the KCPE examination and most of the time we approach this process with a lot of fear and apprehension throughout our final year in primary school and thus affecting our performance revealed Anjere.
Patrick Mbugua and Gabriel Kamau 14 year old twins from Vidhu Ramji Academy in Murang’a County blamed the dismal performance of boys in national examinations to lack of role models and poor parental guidance.
According to Mbugua, one of the twins who managed to score 410 marks in last year’s KCPE, the boys confidence level have been eroded by absentee fathers who are either lost in alcohol or are perennially chasing for money leaving the role of raising up the boys to their wives.
Most homes are ran by women as the fathers either leave far away in search of money or in employments and therefore the sons when faced with difficult life challenges either revert to the internet for answers or to their peers and most of the time they end up being misguided said Mbugua.
According to the Principal St. Peters Academy, Simon Aura, immediate intervention measures to salvage the boy child need to be put in place if he was ever to catch up with the their sisters.
He said that gender equality initiatives previously put in place by the government primarily focused on empowering women, a trend that has now left the girl child highly placed, even overtaking the boy in patriarchal rights previously enjoyed by men.
The twins also pointed out that as a result of challenges posed by the prevailing gender imbalances, many boys are inducted into drug abuse very early in life and this has led to increased criminal activities and illicit sex among very young male fraternity.
Source: Kenya News Agency