Impact of child labour on pupils’ enrolment, retention and KCPE performance in selected Primary School in Kilifi County, Kenya
Ole Keis, Lesanayo Dickson
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The purpose of the study was to establish the impact of child labour on the enrolment, retention and academic performance of pupils in primary school in Kilifi County. The specific objectives are; to determine the forms of child labour; to examine effects of factors influencing child labour and enrolment of pupils; to establish the impact of child labour on enrolment and retention rates of pupils, to determine the effect of child labour on the academic performance of the individual pupils in K.C.P.E and to suggest ways of minimizing child labour in Kilifi County. The study employed a descriptive survey design. The study employed simple random to select the schools for the study. Stratified random sampling was also be used to ensure equal representation of boys and girls per school. Purposeful sampling was also used to select a DEO per District and a District Children’s Officer. Questionnaires and structured interviews were administered to different respondents. Descriptive statistics was used in the presentation and interpretation of results. Data obtained was presented using pie charts and tables. There were different forms of child labour as revealed by the study but although pupils worked, they did not work for pay, profit and family. The activities they were involved in included housekeeping by their parents/guardians’ and it was on a regular basis hence working for 1-4 hours. On factors influencing child labours in relation to retention in school, the study revealed that 58.4% of the pupils said that the main reason for parents letting children work was to supplement family income. On the impact of child labour on enrolment and retention, the study established that pupils were aware of their friends who dropped out of school and the main reason was to care for sickly parents. On the contrary the headteachers said the reasons for pupils dropping out of schools, was child labour as result of poor background, early pregnancies and marriages. On the other hand pupils who were absent from school repeated their classes because of dismal academic performance. The headteachers suggested that the government should provide for orphans and vulnerable children needs and the government should enforce the law on child labour respectively. The following conclusions can be drawn. The forces that produce child labour are many, complex and interrelated. High numbers of children from poor families are joining economic activities as workers. On the effects of child labour on enrolment the reason given was pupils’ dismal performance as a result of household chores. On the enrolment and retention the pupils indicated that their colleagues dropped out of school and classes and that were more affected being classes 4-6. On the way forward to minimize child labour in relation to enrolment the headteachers, DEOs and children officers felt that the government efforts have not been reciprocated by the county administration. The following are the recommendations for the study. Poverty emerged as the most constraining factor on working children. Parents should be sensitized on the importance of children education this would encourage them to take their children to school rather than supplementing family income. Dropout rates can be curbed through empowerment of the parents, hence children continue with their education. The government through the Ministry of Education can help reduce the child labour on enrolment and retention encouraging pupils to remain in school hence high concentration levels in class and better academic performance. The government through the Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government (county administration) should work together to curb the menace of child labour as this will reduce the number of children involved in the labour market.