Wangui Lydia Chege
Abstract: This paper sought to asses various causes of boy child dropout from school in the informal settlements in Nairobi County taking a case study of Baba Dogo area located in the eastern suburbs of the capital city. Secondary data used was obtained from published demographic trends from Kenya National Bureau of Statistics and sessional papers and research work. There is a serious information gap on boy child dropout as a greater emphasis post Beijing ( 1985) has been on the girl child.Kenya, a patriarchal society seem to have taken it literally that the male child is born able to skirt his way round life and as a male he has no challenges needing any intervention. The findings from this research provide evidence on the increasing rate of the boy- child dropout from formal schooling within the informal settlement. This is due to a hidden burden of responsibility. Most households in the informal settlements seem headed by female heads but there is often a male child benefactor of the household. The male child member of the household find themselves compelled to get into casual/cheap employment to subsidize the family needs which leads to their eventual dropout from school. This study concludes that the extreme focus on the girl-child and partial consideration of the boy-child is weakening our society. There is need to pay attention to gender equality and to provide equity to all children, in the education sector especially within the informal settlements, arid and semi-arid areas in order to curb this unsightly occurrence of school dropouts for the boy- child. The vulnerabilities of the boy- child in the informal settlements need to be discussed and addressed.
Keywords: Boy-child, Education, informal-settlements, policy, equity