Perceptions of parents on gender differences in mathematics in secondary schools in Arua Municipality, Arua District, Uganda.

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Kampala International University, College of Education, Open and Distance Learning
Over the past two decades, women limited participation in science, technology and mathematics (SMT) courses in tertiary institutions have been a cause for a concern in Uganda. Women today, constitute over half of the world population. This research was designed to investigate the present situation of female participation in SMT in Arua Municipality, visa-a vis the effects of this limited participation on national development. Data for the study were obtained from a survey conducted in two Local Government Di\ ision Areas of Oil Rivcr and Ama Hill divisions, the west Nile region head quarters. Questionnaires, guided inte~iews and focus group discussions were among the methods used in soliciting for the data from the respondents. A total of 100 students, 40 parents and 50 teachers were successfully interviewed. The result obtained confirms the earlier assertion that female are underrepresented in SMT. It also showed that more than 70% of the parents, 66% of teachers and 76% of students accepted that there was gender disparity in SMT;socialization processes inculcated gender biases through the different roles and responsibilities assigned to girls and boys. A package of communication strategies are therefore recommended to encourage teachers and researchers to recognize prejudicial practices which may still disadvantage girls particularly within classrooms, even where policy and statistics suggest that equality has been achieved. Also, career guidance teachers should play a major role in showing girls how to choose subjects combination in high school which suits their aptitudes and, family members should encourage girls to take up scientific programs.
A research report submitted to the School Of Postgraduate Studies in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Award of Master of Education in Management and Administration of Kampala International University
Perceptions, Parents, Gender differences, Mathematics