Child Labor and Participation in Education among Chidren of Primary School Going Age in Ma thira East District in Nyeri County, Kenya.
Ngure, Rosemary Wangu
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In recent times growing concern has risen on the impact of child labor on participation of education among children of primary going age. The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of child labor on participation of education by determining economic activities children engage in most, the degree of engagement on each gender and extent to which these engagements translate to loss of learning hours. Emphasis was laid on how to improve participation in education. The objectives of the study were to identify economic activities that engage children, determine the degree of engagement to each gender, estimate number of learning hours lost and suggest strategies of eliminating child labor in Mathira East District. The theory of Human Capital was used to assert provision of education as productive measure for private and social life in future to all primary school age going children. Descriptive survey design was used on a study population from Mathira East District which had two educational zones. The study population comprised of 43 public primary schools headed by 43 head teachers and 458 teachers. A total of 896 boys and 850 girls form standard 6 streams, a class formed by an age group majority that forms the low level economically active 10-14 year old (Rosen, 1997). A study population of 20 percent plus one was sampled through simple random sampling method. A sample of 9 public schools with 180 boys and 171 girls in standard six, 92 teachers and 9 head teachers was used. Instruments were piloted in one primary school in the county. Data was analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively using descriptive and inferential techniques. It was presented using frequencies, bar graphs, pie charts. Data collected showed that 43.5% of teachers indicated that learners engage in coffee and tea picking in the area. 43.5% of teachers and 11.1% of the head teachers indicated that learners engage in domestic work whereas 33.3% and 5.4% of the head teachers and teachers respectively indicated that their learners engage in bodaboda or transport business. The study concludes that coffee and tea picking is practiced by learners of both genders with boys involved in bodaboda/transport business. The study recommends that the parents and the community should be sensitized on the rights of the children. This would limit the population of locals using the services of school going children and thus increase attendance in schools.