The Impact of Child Labour on Participation of Pupils in Primary School Education in Nairobi County
Muniu, Elizabeth W.
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Child labour has been identified as a major problem facing all societies in the world. Due to its magnitude as well as its implications on the well being of children, the problem has attracted a lot of attention both nationally and internationally. Child labour is paid or unpaid work or activity that can compromise physical and psychological, social and moral development of the child. Child labour is also any activity that a child does for many hours and it denies him or her time to play, rest or go to school. Child work, on the other hand is harmless work that a child does with her parents or guardians as they instill the discipline of hard work and responsibility in the child. Hence not all work done by children is harmful, some work is necessary to occupy the children when they are at home over the weekends and during the holidays and it is also a useful way of transferring family skills such as housekeeping, farming and business among others. The statement of the problem revealed that despite numerous efforts (by the Kenya government) to keep all children in school and to curb child labour, a number of children were still out of school and working. This necessitated a study, to examine the impact of child labour on participation of pupils in primary school education in Nairobi County. This study had four specific objectives. The first one was to determine the forms of child labour prirr;ary school children were engaged in. While the second objective was to examine the effect of child labour on study time and school related activities. The third objective was to examine the effect of child labor on participation of pupils in education and the last objective examined whether there were any interventions currently in place or new mechanisms of reducing child labour in Nairobi. There were four research questions the first of which sought to find out the forms of child labour children are engaged in. The next research question sought to find out how much time children spent on economic activities and how that affected their participation in education. The researcher also sought to find out whether there were any interventions in place to curb child labour. The study employed descriptive survey design where both purposive and random sampling techniques were used to select 5 schools in Westlands division, Nairobi. Data was collected through 235 questionnaires for the pupils, 5 for teachers and 5 for head teachers which were administered personally by the researcher. The head teachers and at least one teacher from each of the selected schools were interviewed using an interview guide the researcher had prepared. Data was collected in the form of texts and photographs. It was then coded and entered in a statistical package (Microsoft Excel) for analysis. Simple descriptive statistics, frequencies and percentages were used in the findings. The results showed that child labour affects pupils' performances and that girls are more affected by child labour than' boys. Results also showed that some children drop out of school to go and work and girls' dropout rate was found to be higher than that of boys. Several measures to ensure that the problem of child labour is minimized were recommended and these included creating awareness among parents and teachers, talking to the pupils in schools to empower them with life skills, introducing school feeding programmes (because some children work to get food). It was also suggested that the government should introduce harsh penalties to child offenders because the current penalties are so mild that the offenders don't feel the pinch. More research was also recommended to establish other causes of child labour and ways of curbing it.