Manifestations and causes of disaffection towards school among public primary school pupils in Nairobi Province: a case study
Gillian, J. Njoka-Ndwiga
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The reasons why many Kenyan children of school going age do not enroll in school at all and why some of those in schools drop out before completion are many and varied. Some investigations carried out in Kenya, though limited, show that reasons such as child labour, high school expenses, lack of interest and traditions and culture keep children from enrolling and cause some of those in schools to drop out. The main purpose of this study was to investigate the manifestations and causes of disaffection towards school among public primary school pupils in Nairobi Province. It came out clearly in the literature review that disaffection was common among public primary school pupils in both Britain and the United States of America. In both countries pupils aged between 11 and 14 years were most affected. In this study I used the descriptive case study method. Data was collected using observation, interview procedures, document analysis, and focused group discussions, from 25 individuals. Both the population and location of the study were purposively selected. Data analysis showed that all the pupils selected for this study were disaffected towards school. From the study I found out that the pupils in the public primary schools in Nairobi manifest their disaffection towards school in quite a number of ways and there were also numerous causes of the disaffection. There are both differences and similarities in the manifestations and causes of disaffection towards school in the three public primary schools studied. The different pupils were affected differently by the disaffection, but in all the cases the effect was not positive. Some became withdrawn, while others got into substance abuse. The schools, parents and guardians did very little to assist the disaffected pupils compared to the magnitude of the problem. The study found that disaffection towards school was manifested through lesson disruption, vandalism, truancy and bullying. The disaffected pupils were found across an age range. They also came from different environments as well as different economic classes. The study therefore, recommends that, each school should have a guidance and counselling teacher to help such pupils. That parents and teachers should be guided on how to identify disaffection towards school in their children and pupils respectively and that the school curriculum should be made more interesting and attractive to the pupils.