A study on children's rights awareness among Teachers and students in secondary schools in Nairobi province
Muriuki, Michael Kamanyi
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The general quality of education has been a major concern in our society. Since independence, Kenya's education system has been undergoing changes to suit the needs and aspirations of the Kenyan society. This is in line with Education for All (EFA) goals. Children’s rights awareness campaign spearheaded by United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has gathered momentum. The Convention on the Rights of the Child which Kenya ratified in 1990 spells out basic human rights to which children everywhere are entitled. The purpose of the study was to analyze the rights of children and the awareness of these rights amongst teachers and students in Secondary schools in Nairobi Province. The study also identified children's rights that are commonly violated in Secondary schools. The central significance of the study was viewed as that of providing feedback to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology. It was also aimed at identifying the possible causes. and remedies of rising cases of students' unrest in Secondary schools. Likewise, it was hoped that a conducive learning environment in schools would prevail to enable students realize their academic ideals. The literature review covered the concepts of children's rights, studies on children's rights in general and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Other areas included studies on children's rights in Kenya and students unrest in Secondary schools. The literature reviewed has indicated that organizations involved in children’s rights awareness have identified various children's rights violations in Secondary schools. It has also revealed that teachers and students themselves orchestrate these violations. The methodology used consisted of questionnaires, which were administered by the researcher to get accurate information from the respondents sampled. The sample was selected through a purposive sampling method. The sample consiste~ of 32 Secondary school teachers and 320 students proportionately selected from the population. The study established that children's rights continue to be violated in Secondary schools by both teachers and students themselves. The study revealed that rising cases of students' unrest in Secondary schools stem out from students' rights violations. It was established that intra-student rivalry, which has resulted to a lot of suffering and sometimes death, is associated with those violations. Lack of avenues for dialogue in most Secondary schools was found to be another factor that leads to students' unrest. From the research findings, it was recommended that resources should be mobilized to sensitize teachers and students on children's rights. The study also recommended that regular and appropriate forum for dialogue should be instituted in all learning institutions. This would enable teachers and students to discuss pressing issues and consequently prescribe appropriate remedies.It was also recommended that self-discipline should be emphasized in Secondary schools in order to counteract social disorder. In addition, a broad study needs to be conducted to find out why these problems have persisted in Secondary schools even after commissions of inquiry are constituted to investigate the same.