Experiences of Teenage Mothers and Participation in Primary Education in Chepyuk Location, Mount Elgon Sub County, Bungoma County, Kenya
Chenane, Yvonne Nanyama
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This research work sought to bring to the fore, the predicaments faced by teenage mothers as they attend primary education. The study anchored on the following objectives; To investigate the factors leading to teenage pregnancy in primary schools, to find out the experiences of teenage mothers in primary schools, to examine the influence of the experiences of teenage mothers’ on participation in primary education and to establish strategies to address the challenge of teenage pregnancy and motherhood to enhance participation in primary education in Mount Elgon Sub County, Bungoma county focusing on how it affects their academic endeavours. This study sought to fill the gap of re admission experiences of teenage mothers and was based on the social learning theory and adopted descriptive design. To ensure extensive and intensive investigation of the phenomenon under study, the study employed mixed research method. The study targeted forty eight informants. Out of which 29 were female and 19 were male. They consisted of underage girls who were parents while still in primary school. The majority of these came from Class Six (6) to class Eight (8) and teenage mothers out of school, regular pupils (6 boys and 6 girls), class teachers, teachers in the counselling and guidance department and head teachers. Purposive sampling and simple random sampling techniques were employed in selecting informants. Data collection instruments included questionnaires, interview schedules, observation schedule and document analysis. Data collected was coded and organised to create emerging themes and later analysed using both qualitative and quantitative data analysis techniques. The validity and reliability of the research instruments was enhanced through a pilot study in one of the primary school which was not included in the study and advice of supervisors in developing the research instruments. The study findings revealed that majority of teen mothers in primary schools face a myriad of experiences, the most prominent being rejection by family, stigma and discrimination by some peers and teachers. It also established that majority of teenage mothers do not attend classes regularly and this has a direct bearing on their academic performance. It further revealed that various strategies are employed by teachers to accommodate teenage mothers in schools. The study recommends that government and all educational stake holders should develop sex education curriculum to be taught separately like other displines and ensure its full implementation in schools. The study further recommends the establishment of strong guidance and counselling departments in schools headed by trained professionals.