Factors influencing teenage pregnancy in public secondary schools in Imenti north sub county, Meru County, Kenya
Sub-Saharan Africa has one of the highest levels of teenage pregnancies in the world. In spite of that, there is paucity of research on causes of teenage pregnancies in African countries. Teenage pregnancies and the eventual dropping out of school has been and still is a major problem bedeviling the education sector in many parts of developing countries. This study investigated the influence of cultural factors, economic factors, peer group pressure and social media on teenage pregnancies among public secondary school students in Imenti North Sub County. The study was hinged on two theories; Bronfrenbergs Ecological Development theory and Albert Banduras Social Learning Theory. The study employed descriptive survey research design. Target population form three and four students 5,496, teachers 300 and education officers 9.The sample size was of 359 (n=359) form three and four students and 90 (n=90) teachers from 20 public secondary schools and 9 Education officers that were selected to participate in the study. Stratified sampling and random sampling were used to pick the respondents. Questionnaires were used to collect data from teachers and the students while an interview guide was used to collect data from education officers in the Sub County. Data was analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively using SPSS version 21.0. With regard to cultural factors and teenage pregnancy and specifically concerning the teachers, the study established that cultural background hindered the teachers from effectively teaching sex education. The study established that most parent /parents taking their children to the school are into business. The study also deduced that electronic media influences teenagers to have sex at an early age and those students are pressurized to have sex by their friends. This study recommends that efforts on educating people regarding teenage pregnancy should be focused on areas experiencing high levels of poverty. The government with the help of NGOs should also ensure that parents are well educated on the how and when to talk about sex with their children. The study established that parental communication on peer group pressure could reduce chances of teenage pregnancy. Therefore, the study recommends that parents be encouraged to communicate with their children. The study also established that the level technological savvy of teachers and parents does limit their ability to control the access of teenagers to social networking sites and exposure to explicit music and videos. The study therefore recommends that the government with the help other development partners train more teachers on use of ICT tools.