Gender equity strategies and academic performance in Rwandan technical institutions A case study of integrated polytechnic regional Centre-North (IPRC-North)
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This study is entitled “Gender equity strategies and academic performance in Rwandan technical institutions”. The general objective of the study was to find out how gender equality is promoted in student’s academic performance at Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centre-North (IPRC- North). The specific objectives were the following: To find out whether gender differences exist in student’s performance at IPRC-North; To establish the relationship between gender and student’s academic performance at IPRC-North; To find out sustainable strategies and practices to promote gender equity at IPRC-North. A descriptive research design was used in this study. The target population was constituted by 23 lecturers and 226 students at IPRC-North of which males and females were represented. The sampling technique used in selecting 5 lecturers was purposive sampling. The sample size of 37 students was determined using the Sloven sampling formula with 15% as margin error. The study used both secondary and primary data collection techniques. The collected data were analysed using correlation methods. The data processing tools such as Excel and SPSS were used and editing, coding and tabulation were done for analysis of the data collected. The study results revealed that 72.97% of the respondents stated that the technical concepts attainment is not hard at all. This means that students who enrol at IPRC-North are all direct entrants from „A‟ level who are qualified and interested in technical field. However, female students‟ average scores (62.89% in 2012/2013 and 62.68% in 2013/2014) were always below the overall average scores (63.74% in 2012/2013 and 63.54% in 2013/2014). The Pearson product moment correlation coefficient (r) was found to be equal to 0.290759579. This means that there is a positive correlation between gender and student’s academic performance at IPRC-North but the difference between male and female is not significant. The only problem lies on the representation of women at IPRC-North (30%). The study proposed some appropriate strategies to address this issue, such as expanding model programs to other under-served populations that historically have not participated in careers that are non-traditional for their gender status.