Impact of child-labour on participation in primary schools: a case of Nyamira Division, Nyamira County, Kenya.
Makworo, Wilfred Obure
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Child-labour is a very pertinent issue affecting the society. However, little attention has been given to it, yet it is detrimental to the child‟s development in many ways. The child is the bridge between the present generation and the next one. If today‟s child is not properly nurtured then tomorrow‟s society is threatened. Child-labour has negative implications on the child‟s education, and particularly participation. The purpose of this study was to investigate the extent to which child-labour has impacted on participation of pupils in primary schools in Nyamira Division, Nyamira District. The research was guided by the following objectives: To find out; the causes of child-labour, effects of child-labour on participation of pupils in primary schools, the type of work done by child-labourers and the involvement of parents in reducing or promoting child-labour. The study was guided by Maslow‟s theory of hierarchy of needs. The study employed descriptive design and used questionnaires to collect data. The study was carried out in Nyamira division of Nyamira District. The sampling unit was Nyamira Division. The study considered an 18.75% sample representation for schools. Data was analyzed by the use of Statistical Packages for Social Sciences. The research findings have exposed the undercurrents of the phenomenon. The findings may assist other researchers, the government, the ministry of education and the community. The recommendations, if worked upon, may improve the situation on the ground. The findings may also enable the stakeholders in education to come up with policies to reduce the effect on child-labour on education, especially participation. From the findings, it can be concluded that child-labour was still common in the area where the study was conducted. The most common type of work that children did was household chores, the study found out. Other type of work done by pupils was cultivating, tea picking and brick making. Parents were the ones mostly assigning pupils work; others were teachers, friends, relatives, employers and then leaders. It is the responsibility of the parents to provide for their children, but, in cases where they were unable financially, they allowed or even sent their children to work for pay. This meant that poverty was the main cause of child-labour in the area. Other causes were family violence, peer influence, need for money, nearness to urban centre, helping the family and accessibility to work. Child-labour affected enrolment in primary schools because there were school age-going children who were not enrolled in schools because of labour. There was high drop-out of pupils from school because of work. Pupils regularly missed or absented themselves from schools due to work. Parents promoted child-labour a great deal. They did this mainly through sending their children to work for pay. Teachers, parents and pupils were aware of child-labour laws, but unfortunately they seemed not to apply or use them to reduce child-labour. The most appropriate measure to reduce child labour is poverty eradication, provision of education and heightening campaigns against child-labour. Recommendations were based on stepping up campaigns against child-labour, poverty eradication, strengthening guidance and counseling in our primary schools and finally, taking stern disciplinary actions against those found to violent child-labour laws. The researcher recommends the following area for further research; the same study to be replicated on other parts of the country, studies should be done on other aspects of participation and lastly, research should be carried out on performance, access and equity in relation to child-labour. Therefore it could be concluded that child-labour has negatively affected participation in primary schools in the division
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