CHILD LABOUR AND ITS EFFECTS IN PUBLIC PRIMARY SCHOOLS IN DADAAB SUB COUNTY, KENYA
Ali, Issa Mohamed
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Child labour has remained a global challenge. It is estimated that about 218 million children in the world aged between 5-7 years currently work under conditions that are considered illegal, hazardous, or extremely exploitative. The persistence of child labour posed threat to children’s education, especially in primary schools in both arid and semi-arid areas. The purpose of the study was to examine the effect of child labour in public primary schools in Dadaab Sub-County, Kenya. The objectives of the study were to; determine the prevalence, establish factors that increase child labour and its effects on schooling in Dadaab Sub-County. Descriptive survey design was used. The study population 31 198 people; household heads, teachers, community leaders, pupils and officers in relevant Government offices. A sample size of 384 people was used. The study used cluster, random, purposive and snowball sampling methods. Data was collected using questionnaires, interviews, observations and Focus group discussion instruments and methods. Data from the field was analyzed using both quantitative and qualitative methods. The quantitative data was analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics. The qualitative data was summarized and analyzed using themes and narratives. Results were presented using tables, charts and graphs. The results showed that majority (58.6%) of the children were involved in child labour in the study area. About 61.3% of the child labourers were males. The distribution of child labourers in the three divisions of Dadaab Sub County was; 58% in Dadaab Sub County, 22% in Dertu division and 20% in Liboi division. The most prevalent child labour activities identified were; House helps activities (32%), Errand running (24%), Selling Sweets (17%) and Herding (10%). Majority (74%) of the child labourers were aged 12-17 years. Child labour in the study area was caused by; household characteristics (household size, proximity to business centers, household head status, literacy, income and religion), school characteristics (inadequate staff, extra school levies, insecurity in school environment and poor relations between schools and communities) and pupil characteristics (peer pressure, health challenges, lack of parents, domestic work, attraction to waged labour, family errands and care for siblings). There was a progressive drop (21%) in enrolment of pupils in the primary schools in the study area between the years 2013-2017. About 67% of the respondents pointed out that child labour negatively affected academic performance in primary schools. It was concluded that there is high prevalence of child labour in Dadaab Sub County. Household characteristics, school characteristics and pupil characteristics contributed in causing child labour in the study area. Child labour had a negative impact to schooling by causing reduction in primary school pupil enrolment as well as negatively affecting their academic performance. The results will guide policy makers and future researchers on the subject of Dadaab Sub County.