Influence of Khat farming on pupils' discipline in public primary schools in Mutuati division, Igembe North district, Kenya
The purpose of the study was to investigate the influence of miraa farming on learners' discipline in public primary schools in Mutuati division, Igembe North district and establish the strategies that can be used to address the problem. The study was guided by the following research question; to identify the extent to which parental socio-economic factors influence learners' discipline, to establish the extent to which peer influence/pressure among pupils affect learners discipline, to find out the extent to which miraa harvesting/sales influence learners' discipline, to find out the influence of using miraa as a drug on learners' discipline and finally the strategies that can be used to enhance learners' discipline among pupils, strategies to be used to address cases of indiscipline as a result of miraa abuse. The study adopted the social learning theory by Albert Bandura. The theory asserts that people learn through observing others' behaviours. The study adopted the descriptive survey research design whose purpose is to describe the state of affairs and involves a method of collecting data by interviewing or administering questionnaires to a sample of individuals. The target population consisted of all the public primary schools in Mutuati division, Igembe North district. Random sampling was used to sample 8 head teachers, 26 class teachers and 134 pupils. Field survey method was adopted to collect data using questionnaires that were in three sets; head teachers', teachers' and class eight pupils' questionnaires. The questionnaires contained both open-ended and closed-ended questions. Instrument validity was determined during a pilot study while the reliability was determined using internal consistency. The three sets of questionnaire were considered reliable since they had a high coefficient value of 0.7. The researcher sought a research permit from the Ministry of Education in the Department of National Council for Science and Technology before embarking on the field study. Upon obtaining the research permit, the researcher took copies of the permit to the DEO and DC Igembe North District. The researcher then administered the questionnaires personally. Descriptive statistics was used to analyze quantitative data in form of frequencies, percentages, average tables, charts and graphs. Qualitative data was arranged into themes as per the objectives ad research questions. The analysis of structures items was mainly done using the statistical package for social science (SPSS) The key study findings from the study were that the main parental socio-economic was miraa farming and the livelihood of the community despite the high earnings from miraa was below average. Involvement of learners with miraa farming has highly contributed to high indiscipline cases in schools. This was because pupils sneak out of schools to go earn easy money from miraa business. Miraa chewing was also established to cause serious health implications on users. The study came up with the following recommendation; the government should enforce the law on EFA policies and child labour should be abolished and strictly dealt with. Educational activists should organize forums to create community awareness on the importance of education to learners and its impact on the community as a whole. The head teachers should facilitate working in collaboration with the parents and other stakeholders so that discipline can be cultivated and enhanced among learners. This can also help in curbing miraa abuse and generally abuse of other drugs. Schools should have drug education programmes conducted regularly by teachers and also inviting guest speakers to create awareness to the pupils on the dangers on drug abuse. The government should provide enough teachers to schools so that the teaching load could be minimized hence enabling teachers who conduct guidance and counseling to find sufficient time to guide and counsel pupils. The government should either raise a ban on miraa trade or enact a law to regulate miraa trade through legislation. The government through the Ministry of Education should facilitate seminars and workshops for teachers to sensitize them on careers guidance and counseling to boost their effectiveness. The government should enforce the law on some bias cultural practices like early marriages and ensure that every child goes to school in response to the FPE which is free and compulsory.Agriculturalists should introduce other forms of drought resistant crops that would benefit the lives of the people of Mutuati other than miraa.