Effects of Armed Ethnic Conflict on Education of Children and the Implication for Peace Education, a Case Study of Nakuru County, Kenya
Ngundo, Lucy Wangechi
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The purpose of this study was to find out the effects of armed ethnic conflict on education of children and the implication for peace education in Nakuru County. The objectives were to find out peoples‟ experiences and constructions of armed ethnic conflict, ways conflict affected education of children and attempt a theoretical model for peace education. The study adopted a case study using phenomenology research design based on qualitative and quantitative procedures. The population of the study included children, teachers, and parents,‟ leaders and other stake-holders. Nakuru County was chosen because it has the highest incidents of ethnic conflicts and the area has people from different ethnic mixtures. The researcher purposively selected Njoro, Molo and Kuresoi divisions. Three schools from every division were randomly selected. Class eight was purposively selected and using the raffle design method; two children were randomly selected per school making a total of eighteen children in all. Eighteen class teachers were purposively selected, nine head teachers selected by default and eighteen parents of the sampled eighteen children were purposively selected with nine chiefs, nine opinion and nine religious leaders. Four instruments were used to collect data: an interview schedule, open-ended questionnaire, Focussed Group Discussions and essay writing. Piloting at Tebeswet primary School in Mauche division involved class eight, 4 children, 2 class teachers, the head teacher, to help identify inadequate items in the instruments. Data collected was mainly qualitative and its organization, analysis, and interpretation were done using a theory building soft ware atlas. ti. The emergent themes were presented through descriptive statistics with the quantitative part of the data manually done. Results from data analysis revealed in part that ethnic members in Nakuru County constructed land, politicians, and media as causes of armed ethnic conflict. This made adults and children to be maimed, killed and displaced resulting to emotional repercussions and physical disabilities. Teachers fled schools, learning resources were burnt down, children dropped out of schools to head household as others were orphaned due to conflict thus affecting their education. The study therefore recommended government to resolve land issues, politicians and the media to be an instrument to preach peace not diversity, with counseling and reintegration programmemes given to children and skills training offered to those who dropped out of school. Any NGO, CBO, working in an area to train people to pass peaceful values and peace education to be integrated in the school curriculum with the peace model suggested.