Assessment of effects on drugs and substance abuse on students' performance: a case of secondary schools in Kagundo district,Kenya
Nyaga, Justin Muriuki
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Drugs and substance abuse is one of the most worrisome risk behaviours among secondary school students. Drugs and substance abuse affects the freedom and development of young people, the world's most valuable asset. As such, the purpose of this study was to find out the effects of drugs and substance abuse and its implications on secondary school unrest in Kangundo District. The objectives of the study were to find out the extent of drugs and substance abuse in secondary schools in Kangundo District; to find out the factors contributing to drugs and substance abuse in secondary schools in Kangundo District; to find out the effects of drugs and substance abuse on students' discipline; and, to suggest possible solutions to drugs and substance problem in secondary schools. The study adopted a descriptive survey research design. All the 40 public secondary schools in Kangundo District formed the target population. Stratified random sampling technique was used to select 10 schools from the 40 secondary schools in Kangundo District. In total, the sample size comprised of 10 principals, 10 teacher-counsellors, 200 students, 20 parents, 2 provincial administration officers, 5 school sponsors, and 2 education field staff members. The main research instruments used in the study were questionnaire and interview schedule. Descriptive statistics including percentages and frequency counts were used to analyze the data obtained. The results of data analysis are presented in frequency tables, histograms and pie charts. The 100% (N=200) students agreed that there were students who abused drugs in their schools. 15.5% (N=31) of the students rated drugs abuse in the schools as very common, 78 (39%) rated it common, 62 (31%) rated it rare, while 29 (14.5%) of the students indicated that drugs abuse in their schools was very rare. Forty eight percent (48%) of the students indicated that they had ever taken drugs, while 104 (52%) had never taken drugs. The most commonly abused drugs included cigarettes (78%), alcohol (55.5%), bhang (37%) and miraa (10.5%). Other drugs abused by students were heroine (12%) and tap tap (9.5%). Students accessed drugs from other students who peddle drugs, from the neighbouring community, sneaking them to school when reopening, buying them during school outings, buying them from kiosks near schools, and buying from subordinate staff members. Majority (59.5%) of the students rated incidences of indiscipline in their schools as high, 26 (13%) rated them low, 42 (21%) very low and 13 (6.5%) very high. Based on the findings of the study, it can be concluded that drugs and substance abuse by students is widespread in secondary schools Kangundo District. The main drugs of abuse in the schools include alcohol, cigarettes, bhang and miraa. As a result of drug abuse, cases of indiscipline in the schools are on the rise. The problem of drugs and substance abuse in schools needs to be addressed if school administrators are to effectively deal with the rising incidences of indiscipline and strikes. This calls for concerted efforts by the government, the community and school administrators to deal with this problem.