Parents in Kiambu County have been urged to offer parental mentorship to their children in a bid to raise the county’s dwindling academic standards.
Mary Kirika, Kenya Private Schools Association Kiambu Chapter Secretary, said parental mentoring is lacking among many school going children adding that teachers may not cope with teaching and at the same time offer parental mentorship.
Speaking on Friday in Thika, Kirika said mentorship will help learners to disassociate themselves from negative peer groups that may lead to juvenile delinquency.
The educationist called for a major campaign against alcohol and substance abuse among school-going children in the county to stamp out the vice.
However, she regretted that the drug menace may not be wiped out so long as production of killer brews continues unabated.
‘Let the government close shop all distillers manufacturing second generation brews that are wiping out our youth. If they remain operational, Kiambu will miss out in service jobs from the government,’ said Kirika.
She noted that the campaign against alcohol and substance abuse will try to identify and eliminate hidden barriers detrimental to accessing free education.
The educationist further observed that there is need to provide accessible and affordable rehabilitation and rescue centers equipped with qualified personnel for children who abuse drugs and other substances as well as medical care to children addicted to drugs.
She reiterated the need to incorporate the dangers of drug abuse into school curricula and provision of specialized staff in all children institutions to detect and deal with drugs and substance abuse.
Victoria Mbwika, Sub-County Education Officer, admits that alcohol consumption and substance abuse has had disastrous on effects school going children.
“Drop-out rates among boys in the Sub-County is alarming. Early exposure to drugs has precipitated their failure to complete elementary education,’ said Mbwika.
Mbwika said the county’s proximity to Nairobi has lured some children to engage in hawking business activities at the expense of earning an education.
“Alcohol and Drug Abuse prevalence in schools has the potential to negatively affect the health, safety, productivity and performance of learners, which will result in poor performance in national examinations,’ said the educationist.
Although alcohol and drug abuse happens in the context of the family and the wider society, she noted that the schools offer a chance for early detection, intervention and psycho-social support for learners.
By Yobesh Onwong’a