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Poverty blamed for dropouts in Ndaragwa schools 

Poverty levels in Nyandarua North Constituency has led to increased rates of school dropout cases as students fend for their families.

For instance, Mr. Jason Mwangi, Principal St Mary’s Aberdare Secondary School in Ndaragwa Ward, said that the cases of teenage pregnancies, drug abuse and dropout rates were high among his students.

The student population at the school has dropped from 196 to 147 students in a couple of months, with the principal attributing the scenario to students being sent home to get school fees and failing to return for lack of the same.

Mwangi says the mushrooming of schools nearby which were more preferable by the students has also contributed to the dwindling number of students in his school.

Speaking during the Sub-county CBC Implementation Committee launching of CBC classes, Mwangi said that the school was hard hit by drought which only made the situation worse for the students.

“The students only pay Sh12, 000 per year and yet some parents cannot afford that. Some of the students dropped out due to lack of school fees and have now resulted to logging at a nearby forest and riding motorcycles to earn a living,” said Mwangi.

He also accused the local community of poor parenting which resulted in social problems such as drug abuse and teenage pregnancies.

“I am confident that this school is the hope for this community. The issues of teenage pregnancies and drug abuse especially marijuana can be resolved if these students get education and counseling,” said Mwangi.

Nyandarua North Deputy County Commissioner Mr. Walter Ngaira while calling for concerted efforts to fight drug abuse among youths in the area, said barazas will be held frequently to help address the menace while looking into long-term plans of putting up a police post in the area.

“There is only one police station in Ndaragwa town to deal with security in its surrounding locations. This is overwhelming for the Officers there,” he noted.

By Anne Sabuni

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