Gender differences in reading comprehension competence in Rubaga division Kampala capital city
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This study investigated the differences in reading comprehension of girls and boys in secondary school in order to highlight important reading skills for O-level English language. Good reading comprehension is vital to the success of O-level students in Uganda. Students use these skills to understand what they learn and also to be able to correctly interpret the requirements of their examinations. Over the years, UNEB has indicated that girls do better than boys in reading comprehension exams with more boys being below expectations. Using a case study design, data was collected from 18 students using a structured interview guide and a competence achievement test. Data was analysed using descriptive statistics the t-test and content analysis. It was found out that girls and boys do not differ significantly in their reading comprehension skills. Girls consistently applied their reading comprehension skills and this arose from having a better attitude, learning and applying more efficient comprehension skills than being from gender. Students generally applied haphazard reading comprehension skills which were mainly from their intuition and were sometimes less effective. This challenge was related to the way they are taught. The teaching of reading comprehension in O-level did not effectively develop reading comprehension skills. So pedagogical Practices and attitudinal factors were discovered to be responsible for the possible gender differences in reading comprehension between girls and boys. The study suggests that schools should organize regular professional development training for O-level teachers to develop appropriate skimming, scanning and reflection skills in students. Relatedly, students need ongoing and more student and learner-centered teaching to ensure that they learn how to approach reading comprehension in a more academic and organized way. A study on comprehension teaching approaches that are more facilitative for O level students is needed.