The effects of drug abuse in secondary schools: the case of Ijara and Garissa districts of North Eastern province, Kenya
Kisaka, Joseph Namisi
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This thesis investigated the effect of drug abuse in secondary schools in Garissa andljara districts of North Eastern Province, Kenya. The research problem emanatedfrom the concern that drug abuse has remained a serious habit in Kenyan schools despiteefforts put in place to reduce it by various stakeholders such as the government, parents,teachers, and religious leaders. This problem of drug abuse may be responsible for variousadverse effects on students like the deterioration in academic performance in a numberof schools and the indiscipline cases in form of school strikes. The problem of the effectsof drug abuse by students in schools in Garissa and Ijara districts was not known sinceno such study had ever been done there. Therefore, this study focused on the objectivesof finding out the sources and types of drugs abused by students in schools, causesand the effects of drug abuse on the students, schools, and the local community. Otherobjectives were to find out the factors contributing to failure to contain drug abuse and thepossible solutions to minimize drug abuse in the two districts of study. The study samplewas 13 headteachers, 104 teachers, and 780 students. The information was elicited by26th Postgraduate Seminar Abstracts. June, 2013.use of questionnaires, interviews and focused group discussions. Quantitative data wasanalyzed through simple statistics while qualitative data by thematic analysis. The findingsestablished that abused drugs were mainly khat, cigarettes, and marijuana. Sources of thesedrugs were drug peddlers, their peers, touts, school workers, and shopkeepers at the localmarkets. The study found that students abused drugs due to peer pressure, stress, lax schooladministration, easy availability of drugs, ignorance of their harmful effects and lack ofproper guidance from their parents and teachers. The effects of drug abuse on studentsthemselves included poor performance, absenteeism, addiction to drugs, truancy anddropping out of school. The schools experienced indiscipline cases since students brokeall the school rules and regulations at will. In addition, drug abusers were rude to teachersas well as their fellow students and also stole school or student property. Furthermore, thestudents stole from or robbed community members, showing them lack of respect, andeven fought with community members. In conclusion, urgent measures should be put inplace in order to save the students from the dangers of drug abuse. Otherwise students are likely to be wasted if such measures are not put in place. Some of the recommendationsinclude stepping up the school awareness campaigns against the vice of drug abuse as wellas strengthening the department of guidance and counselling in schools.
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