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Research: Drug abuse hinders 100% secondary school transition

Drug and substance abuse among learners have been cited as one of the barriers which hinder 100 per cent secondary school transition in some counties.

Research carried out by the Zizi Afrique Foundation in four sub-counties selected from different regions revealed that drug and substance abuse hindered secondary education transition by 14 per cent.

 The research which was done early this year in the four sub-counties, including Kahuro (Murang’a), Sololo (Marsabit), Cheptais (Bungoma), and Dagoretti (Nairobi), also revealed that the cost of schooling hindered the 100 per cent transition to secondary school by 29 per cent.

 The Foundation’s head of research, Mr. Morris Mutisya, said when meeting education stakeholders from Kahuro on Friday, the sub-county recorded the highest transition of 98 per cent as compared to the other three sub counties.

Mutisya, however, said drug and substance abuse in Kahuro Sub County hindered the transition by 33 per cent as compared to 7 per cent in Dagoretti, six per cent in Sololo and 11 per cent in Cheptis.

 “The research findings revealed that some children are introduced to drugs at early stages, thus affecting their education,” said Mutisya.

 Mutisya further said cost barriers, including boarding fees and resources to acquire school uniforms and personal items, were named as major reasons for not joining Form One. “Other barriers which hindered 100 per cent transition were early marriage by 10 per cent, poor performance by 12 per cent, and peer pressure by 13 per cent,” he noted.

 The director revealed that, apart from the barriers, enablers of secondary school transition tended to focus on initiatives existing in the system to minimise cost barriers.

 The research highlighted bursaries and scholarships from NG-CDF, county governments and corporate organizations as main enablers for secondary school transition especially to learners from poor backgrounds.

 “More than 90 per cent of students were supported by their households to join secondary schools and less than 10 per cent were supported by NG-CDF and the county government through bursaries and scholarships,” he added.

On enrolment, Mutisya said in Kahuro, more girls (98.6) transited to secondary school as compared to boys (97.4). per cent

 “Also in Kahuro Sub County, as compared to the other three sub-counties, last year’s KCPE performance of girls was much better as compared to that of boys. Girls attained a mean score of 249.4 marks as compared to boys, who attained a mean score of 230 marks. There was a difference of about 20 points,” said Mutisya.

 The chairperson of the Murang’a Primary School Heads Association, Mr. Paul Mwaura, said teachers, together with other education stakeholders, are working to ensure that the county attained 100 per cent secondary school transition.

 He divulged that according to NEMIS, Murang’a County recorded more than 100 per cent transition, saying the big percentage is brought about by students from other counties joining secondary schools in Murang’a.

 “As stakeholders, we have to work together with all stakeholders and remove the barriers like drug abuse and early marriages which are hindering the attainment of 100 per cent transition,” reiterated Mwaura.

By Bernard Munyao

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