Educational outcomes of reintergrated child offenders in Othaya rehabilitation school, Nyeri county, Kenya
Ndirangu, Joseph Muchemi
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This study sought to document educational life experiences of persons released from Othaya Rehabilitation School, with an intention of creating information on the educational path of children who go through rehabilitation schools in Kenya. The objectives were to: document the educational experiences of children before, during and after rehabilitation, establish the extent to which rehabilitation school provided opportunity for continued learning and the level of interference, and determine their educational outcomes and their impact on the quality of post institutional life. Descriptive study design was adopted based on life stories of persons who had received rehabilitation services at the school between the year 2003 and 2007. Eleven former Students of Othaya rehabilitation school and the Manager of the institution at the time of the study were sampled through purposive and snowball sampling techniques. Data was collected by narrative interviews administered by the researcher in person. The data collection instruments were interview schedules that were piloted on two rehabilitation school graduates who did not take part in the final study. Data was recorded by use of a tape recorder supported by field notes. It was transcribed into text and analyzed using thematic analysis approach. The findings revealed that children admitted to Othaya Rehabilitation School are mainly for Care and Protection (C&P), Protection and Discipline (P&D) and also some with criminal records. Majority (80%) of the children largely come from poverty stricken functional families and dysfunctional families in rural areas and urban slums. Further, the study established that the school offers educational opportunities to all children committed to that institution regardless of their background so as to ensure that their committal does not adversely affect their education. The study also found that majority of the former rehabilitees had successfully reintegrated back in the community, were satisfied with their lives and that most of them attributed their success to the rehabilitation school. It was also found out, however, that time allocated to teaching and learning in rehabilitation schools was inadequate due to interference by other correctional programs, inadequate teaching staff, lack of clearly formulated exit and aftercare services leading to exposure of the rehabilitated youth to the very conditions that led them to delinquency and crime in the first place. Among the recommendations made were that there should be collaboration between the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Home Affairs in providing funds, resources and personnel to rehabilitation schools. Further, the Government should come up with an after care kit for rehabilitated youth, involve the parents, guardians, relatives and the community in general in order to help the youth reintegrate back to the society smoothly. Finally, the researcher is of the opinion that the government should come up with a diversion program aimed at preventing the children from coming into contact with the formal justice system and of importance come up with non-custodial rehabilitative measures for children in need of care, protection and discipline.