PERCEPTIONS OF HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS ON THE NEED FOR SEX EDUCATION IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS, ELDORET MUNICIPALITY, KENYA

Linah J. Kamuren, Kamara E., Ntabo M.

Abstract


It is estimated that 23% of the girls in secondary schools in Kenya drop out of school each year as a result of teenage pregnancy. Findings of the Kenya Aids Indicator Survey of 2007 indicate that the HIV and STI prevalence rate is 7 for Rift Valley province, that is, 7 out of every 1000 people have HIV and STI. The drop-out rate for girls in Uasin Gishu district is 2.1% while that of boys’ stands at 2.4%, according to Uasin Gishu development plan 2002 -2007. This is attributed to factors such as HIV, STIs and teenage pregnancies among others. In response to the rising number of HIV, STIs and teenage pregnancies and the resultant dropout rates in schools, the Ministry of Education intended to introduce sex education in secondary schools in Kenya to create awareness on the consequences of sex abuse in order to reduce school dropout rate on teenage pregnancies and STIs related infections. Debates on introduction of Sex Education in schools rages on and a lot of studies have been done on the pros and cons of this. But the opinion of children has not been sought. However, the intentions of the ministry were not realized because religious groups opposed it. In African indigenous culture, children are not consulted in decision making, but according to the United Nations Convention of 1989, children have a right to access information, participate and take responsibility in the society. Hence, need to seek their views. Therefore, this study sought to find out the perception of secondary school students on the need for sex education in secondary schools in Eldoret municipality, Kenya. Perceptions are vital since they shape students behaviour and attitudes towards their sexuality as well as morality. The research design for this study was a cross sectional descriptive survey aimed at collecting qualitative and quantitative primary data from students on their perceptions on the need for sex education. This was done through structured questionnaires and focus group discussions. A sample of 325 students was obtained through stratified and simple random sampling. The findings of the study showed that 53% of the students perceived the need to introduce of Sex Education in schools and so the idea is perhaps worth revisiting. The researcher therefore concludes that many students’ perceptions’ towards introduction of sex education in secondary schools is positive. 

 

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Keywords


perceptions, students, secondary schools, sex education

References


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