Influence of miraa business on access, retention and academic performance among pupils in primary schools in Igembe - north district, Meru County, Kenya
M'Muiyo, Kaumbuki. P.
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Access and retention in school are part and parcel of education. The main aim of every child going to school is to perform well in his or her studies interdependence of the aspects of education. Substance abuse and child labour has become hindrance towards acquisition of the millennium development goals and the government of Kenya's vision 2030. Miraa harvesting, transport, buying, selling and consumption by the pupils has been seen to be the main contributing factor that hinder retention and performance in primary schools in Igembe North District. The purpose of the study will be to fmd out how miraa business affects the enrolment, retention and performance of pupils in primary schools in Igembe North District. The study has four objectives: first is to fmd out the extent to which parental involvement in miraa business influence pupils educational performance. Secondly to establish the extent to which miraa harvesting, sale and consumption affect the learner’s retention and performance in primary schools. Thirdly, to fmd out how the learning environment of the child at home and school are influenced by economic activities of miraa business. And fourthly to establish measures of curbing poor retention and performance in primary schools in Igembe North District. The study will adopt Albert Banduras Social Learning Theory and Maslows theory of hierarchy fneeds which will illustrate the relationship between the Childs social learning and human needs versus retention and performance in primary schools in scenario where miraa business is the main socio-economic activity. The study will adopt descriptive survey design. A stratified random sampling method will be applied to select 11 schools out of 53 for this study. Since the business affects both boys and girls directly and indirectly, both genders will be involved in the study. The researcher will target pupils of class seven and eight in the primary school because they are in their teenage and slightly mature thus vulnerable to child labour in miraa business and its consumption; boys are involved directly, while others are affected (girls) through neglect, early pregnancies and early marriages or lured by miraa money to boys. The study will involve 22classteachers, 198class seven and eight pupils ,11 head teachers of sampled schools and 40 miraa businessmen sampled from markets across the district. The researcher will use closed-ended and open-ended questionnaires which will be administered to class seven and eight pupils and class teachers separately .In addition, structured interview schedules will be administered to head teachers and miraa dealers sampled; this will generate both qualitative and quantitative data. . The collected data will be entered into computers and analyses will be facilitated using statistical package for social sciences (SPSS). The researcher will analyze the data by use of percentages, frequency tables ,mean and mode. The analyzed data will be presented in form of frequency distribution tables, graphs, pie charts, histograms and percentages. The study will ascertain the access and retention or drop out rates in primary schools; it will also target performance and how it influences the two variables. Possible solutions to the menace will be investigated, which in turn will help to put measures in place to curb child labour and miraa consumption by children hence improving the standard of education in Igembe North District and other affected neighbouring districts.