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Alarm as miraa chews pupils out of schools

COUNTIES
By By ABIGAEL SUM | Jun 13th 2013 | 1 min read
By By ABIGAEL SUM | June 13th 2013
COUNTIES

By ABIGAEL SUM

Kenya: More children are dropping out of school in miraa growing areas.

A study conducted by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) in primary schools in Embu County shows there is rise in drop out rates.

Findings indicate that school going children are involved in picking, selling, planting, weeding and transporting miraa to markets while others chew the drug.

Miraa is a high-income crop in the county. Its business has negatively affected children and youth resulting in lack of concentration in class, poor academic performance, absenteeism, high cases of indiscipline and drop out rates.

Mr Joel Ongoto, a programme officer at Unesco said, miraa business has adversely affected enrolment, school attendance and performance.

“Boys are more involved in the business than girls. We found out that although there are more boys in lower grades, the trend is reversed in upper grades where there are more girls. This may imply a higher drop out rate for boys in upper grades,” said Ongoto.

He said KCPE mean score for sampled schools has been consistently low, which may be associated with lack of concentration in class, an effect of chewing miraa.

According to the study, the allure of easy money, prevalence of poverty and encouragement by parents and guardians as well as poor law enforcement are some of reasons driving children in the business.

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