Teachers’ perceptions on influence of parents’ alcohol and drug use on school participation of lower-primary school pupils in Tharaka-Nithi County
Mutembei, Rose Kanyua
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Pupils‟ participation in pre-schools in relation to enrolment, attendance, and engagement in learning activities is a challenge due to myriad of factors key among them being parent factors. Specifically, parental alcohol and drug use is a major health concern and detrimental to the general growth, development and learning of their children. Thus, the main purpose for the study was to find out prevalence and influence of alcohol and use among parents‟ in public lower-primary schools in Meru South Sub County in Tharaka Nithi County, Kenya. The objectives of the study were: to find out the extent to which parents abused alcohol and drugs as well as influence of parental alcohol and drug use on lower primary school pupil‟s enrolment; to determine the influence of parental alcohol and drug use on lower primary school pupil‟s attendance; to establish the influence of parental alcohol and drug use on lower primary school pupil‟s classroom learning activities; and to establish the extent of use of alcohol and drug use and measures that can enhance school participation of pupils born of alcohol and drug abusive parents in lower primary school. The study was guided by the Ecological Systems Theory by Bronfenbrenner‟s (1979). Descriptive survey design was used in study. The study targeted a total of 320 class teachers in 52 public primary schools in Meru South Sub-County. Proportionate random sampling method was used to select 32 class teachers. Questionnaire was used for data collection. Pilot study was done in four schools to enhance validity and reliability of the research tool. Qualitative data were analyzed thematically according to the study objectives and presented in narrative manner. Quantitative data on the other hand was analyzed by use of descriptive statistics namely frequency counts, means and percentages with the help of the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). The results of the analyzed data have been presented using tables, pie charts, histogram and bar graphs. The study findings showed that parental alcohol and drug use influenced children‟s enrollment in the study area of study. Children of alcohol and drug abusing parents failed to attend school regularly. Majority of teacher respondents agreed that most children of alcohol and drug abusive parents were not attentive in class. The study concluded that parental alcohol and drug use significantly influenced children‟s enrollment, attendance and classroom participation. The study recommended that seminars for community awareness on influence and effects of alcohol and drug abuse on children‟s school participation should be encouraged. Improved training was also advocated for teachers to enable them to respond more effectively to both the needs of the child and parents experiencing substance misuse problems.