Orphan hood is a condition in which a child has lost one or both parents and is left to fend for his or her life. Despite the government’s efforts, orphan hood has encroached making orphaned girls not to fully enjoy the free education. Losing a parent during childhood is a crisis that if not handled well may make the child decline academically or drop out of school entirely. Data from Meru South Sub-county education office shows that academic performance of orphaned girls’ is low. If the issue of orphaned girl’s education is not addressed, the country may not achieve its objectives on education for all. There is need to study the factors affecting academic performance of orphaned girls in Meru South Sub-county. The purpose of this study was to assess factors affecting academic performance of orphaned girls in public primary schools in Meru South Sub-county. The study looked at social factors affecting academic performance of orphaned girls. Descriptive survey research design was used. The target population was 600 orphaned girls in 150 public primary schools from which a sample size of 234 orphaned girls in class 6 and 7 was purposively selected for the study. In addition, 20 teachers who teach standard 6 and 7 were included in the sample. Questionnaires were administered to teachers and orphaned girls in the sample population. Socialists and other experts from the Faculty of Education and Resources Development at Chuka University checked the instruments to ensure validity. The computer based statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) version 17.0 was used to analyze the data. Data was presented by use of frequency distribution tables, bar charts and pie charts. The study found out that academic performance of orphaned girls was affected by social factors. The findings provide information to guide the government and ministry of Education in coming up with policies and mechanisms to address factors affecting academic performance of orphaned girls. It will also help head teachers and teachers to come up with policies and get workable solutions to factors affecting academic performance of orphaned girls.
Keywords: orphaned Girls, Social Factors, Academic Performance, Factors Affecting Orphaned Girls, performance of orphaned Girls.