Girls and science in the Lesotho secondary schools : a study of the reasons for low participation rates by girls in the Mohale's Hoek district.
It has been discovered that in many countries, both locally and internationally, girls have low participation rates in science at secondary school level. This thesis examines the factors that underscore the persistence of girls' low participation rates in schools. The major reason for this examination is to establish ways in which secondary school teachers, interested individuals or groups of people, and the ministry of education in Lesotho can manage this problem. Kelly (1981) argues that causes of girls' negative attitudes towards science are multifaceted. Thus, in attempting to understand these causes and to develop strategies to manage this behaviour, a single approach, which focuses on student-teacher classroom interaction, was considered. This thesis therefore, seeks to investigate the responses of girls and science teachers in schools with least numbers of girls having opted for science in the last five years. Due to less numbers of science teachers in schools, I involved in this study, all those found in schools surveyed. To survey girls' responses to this problem, I drew a random sample of both those who have opted for, and those who have opted out of science. I then used a self-administered questionnaire as the research instrument for this study. Basing myself on my judgement's analysis, I therefore concluded that gender discrimination is the major source of girls' negative attitudes towards science in Lesotho, the country that condones female subordination. The unfavourable learning atmosphere that male teachers create for girls in science lessons, such as, the harassment, the harshness, deprivation of opportunity to participate in class, to use the laboratory equipment and other ways and means of ill-treating and frustrating girls are all a result of male domination. A number of recommendations to manage this problem have therefore been proposed.