Factors influencing primary school pupils' attitudes and awareness in solid waste management in Laikipia East district, Laikipia county, Kenya
Maina, Hannah Njeri
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Among the studies that have investigated students' awareness of environmentalphenomena, events, and issues, only a few have looked specifically at the attitudeor the awareness of primary school learners about solid waste management. Giventhis knowledge gap, it was essential for research in environmental education to explore leaners’awareness and attitude about solid waste management which shape the ways inwhich the pupils handle waste issues and guide their environmental behavior. The mainobjective of this study was to analyze factors influencing primary school pupils' attitudeand awareness of solid waste management. Samples of pupils from five public schools inLaikipia East district, Laikipia County, Kenya, were studied in an effort to assess factorsaffecting their atti~des and awareness on solid waste management, and how these variedby gender, academic performance, education level and location of the schools. Datacollected were analysed using SPSS computer software to obtai'n frequenci.es, percentages and mean~. ~e results were presented in form of frequency tables, pie charts and ba:.gra~hs. Findings revealed that awareness of solid waste management practices of mostpupils from the sampled primary schools differ significantly by academic performance(p==O.OOO), education level (p=O.OOO)and type of school (p=O.OOO). Also, the attitudeof the pupils towards SWM differed significantly by the type of school they attended(p=O.004). The academically bright pupils, upper class pupils and those from HPU schoolsexhibited higher awareness of SWM than the academically weak:, lower class and thosefrom LPU and rural schools respectively. However data did not provide enough evidenceto prove that there was a significant difference in attitude ofSWM between boys and girls(p=0.92), pupils of different education levels (p=0.68), or between the academically weakand strong pupils (p=O.64) nor in gender awareness of SWM (p=0.09) .Paper was the mostcommon solid waste generated in the schools and was mainly disposed of by open burning.It was concluded that academic performance, level of study and type of school attendedinfluenced the pupils' awareness of SWM while their attitude was influenced by the typesof schools they attended. It was recommended that further research should be done infuture to study health impacts of waste workers, including pupils as they work underunltygienic conditions. Solid waste management should be integrated in primary school curriculum and made more practical and interesting to the pupils, for positive attitudechange due to concern over growing problem of garbage disposal and the feeling that theissue should be addressed in a holistic manner.