An Investigation into Female Students’ Less Participation in English Language Class: Waja Kero Junior Primary School Grade 8 Students in Focus

Aynalem Dana


The growing interest in gender issues, relationships, family constructs etc can be seen in academia and elsewhere. The power of literary texts, plays, films and dramas in the formation and perception of women’s images is immense. These perceptions change with time and ideology. Change in ideology, always mark a paradigm shift in the way we understand and interpret social, economic and political agendas. The introduction of Marxist ideology in a society is an example. Even though Education is most important to pursue the objective of women’s empowerment, gender imbalance that prevails at various levels of schooling has been a hampering factor. Besides enrollment, gender disparity manifests in areas of class participation and achievement in primary education institutions. In Ethiopia, even if through several interventions, the enrollment of female students at various levels of schooling has dramatically been increased, questions like in class participation and achievement remain unanswered. This piece of writing, while investigating the issues of representation vs. participation has an objective of assessing why female students’ participation in class is low compared to male counterparts. Applying feminist qualitative research, this study identified that shyness, language proficiency, family background, instructor’s affiliation to active students, environment, and lack of value attached to participation in class were having impacts on female students participation in class. In contrast, representation in class compared to male counterpart was not a decisive factor. And the researcher concludes that, unless otherwise interventions to enhance females’ education in Ethiopia further investigate the issues of in class participation and achievement, the so far efforts have been only tip of the iceberg especially at Waja Kero primary school in rural Ethiopia. Waka Kero primary classroom has been regarded as male public space. This has affected the academic achievement of female students, which in turn is likely to influence negatively their social, economic and political visibilities. As such, females’ participation in the classroom activities becomes an inviting topic to be explored. The current study, thereby, aimed to unveil the reasons of highly inhibited and highly exuberant female students in the classroom. In so doing, observations and interviews were carried out on students studying at the primary school of Waja Kero. The findings revealed that inhibition, depreciation of participation, devaluation of speech in mixed environment, and peers’ negative comments were the main factors hindering female students’ participation. Factors that have been rated as strong promoters of participation, however, were: positive perception of participation, modern thinking, well-rounded knowledge about the topic, the type of topic studied, accessible teachers, and learner-centered approach.

Keywords: Wajakero, classroom participation, female students, factors, less participation

DOI: 10.7176/RHSS/10-5-03

Publication date:March 31st 2020

Full Text: PDF
Download the IISTE publication guideline!

To list your conference here. Please contact the administrator of this platform.

Paper submission email:

ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

Please add our address "" into your email contact list.

This journal follows ISO 9001 management standard and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Copyright ©