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UBC Theses and Dissertations

High school students aspirations for post secondary career programs Kithyo, Mattemu


The purpose of this study was to find out what the students' perceptions are regarding the influence of the following factors in the students' career programs decision making: students' self-expectations; parents' expectations; teachers' expectations; industry's expectations; financial rewards; academic ability; upward mobility; sex role stereotyping; and availability of career information. The study was carried out in Machakos district, Kenya between April and August 1988. The subjects were 210 form 3 (grade 11) students drawn from 3 different schools in the district. One school was an all girls school, one an all boys school and one a mixed school. For each school, two classes of 35 students each were used. Data for the study were collected by use of a questionnaire developed by the researcher. This questionnaire was administered in each school by the researcher assisted by 2 teachers supplied by the school. The data were then analyzed and the results grouped into categories reflecting the questions addressed by the study. Some of the major findings of the study were: 1. Programs in Agriculture are priority aspirations for both the boys and the girls. 2. Besides agriculture, the career program aspirations of the students followed the traditional gender lines such that most of the boys aspired for technological programs while most of the girls aspired for office based programs. 3. There seemed to be no difference between the effects of parents expectations on the boys and on the girls. 4. There seemed to be no difference between the effects of teachers' expectations on the boys and on the girls. 5. The boys believed that they had good academic abilities in Mathematics and science subjects while girls believed they were good in business education and languages. 6. The boys seemed to be more concerned with chances for further studies in career program than the girls were. 7. By the time students chose subjects for Kenya Certificate of secondary Education (K.C.S.E.) certification they had very little career information available to them. 8. Although technical education is a priority field for the government, it is not a priority aspiration for the students. The findings of the study suggest that career guidance in the secondary schools in Machokos District is not effective. The author gives several recommendations for addressing the issues and concerns raised by the study.

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