Drug abuse in secondary schools in Kenya has been on the increase and identified as one of the major causes of indiscipline and unrest among students. The marked increase in consumption of both illegal and legal drugs in schools is continually highlighted in the local press media. The Ministry of Education and National Campaign against Drugs Abuse (NACADA) have shown great concern about the effects of this menace. This study sought to determine the infleunce of guidance and counselling on management of students’ drug abuse with special reference to Bahati Division. The study adopted an ex- post facto research design. It targeted all the 47 secondary schools with a student population of 7767 and 472 teachers. A random sample of 120 students, ten teacher counsellors and ten head teachers were selected from ten schools. Data was collected through administration of questionnaires to the selected respondents. The collected data was then processed and analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics with the aid of Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) version 11.5 for windows. Descriptive statistics used included frequencies, percentages, tables, pie charts, bar graphs and cross- tabulations, while inferential statistics involved the use of chi square which was tested at = 0.05 significance level. The study findings indicate that cheap and easily available drugs were the most commonly used types of drugs among secondary school students. The common drugs used, which included alcohol and cigarette, were considered legal and generally accepted in the society. Most schools had the necessary management mechanisms to curb drug abuse among their students. Proper implementation and utilization of guidance and counselling services had a positive effect in the management of drug abuse among secondary school students. Guidance and counselling services were related to low level of drug taking in schools. Male students being the most vulnerable group to drug abuse were more targeted for guidance and counselling on drug abuse in secondary schools. These study findings are fundamental to policy makers responsible for the positive development of secondary school students in the country including the Ministry of Education, school administrators, teacher counsellors, students, parents and the entire society. While the study recommends development of more specific drug abuse management mechanisms targeting students, the important role played by guidance and counselling services in controlling the habit in schools is vividly highlighted.

Background Information
Drug abuse refers to the taking of the psychotropic substances resulting to changes in body functions affecting the individual in a negative way either socially, cognitively or physically. Drugs can be taken through the mouth, by injection using hypodermic needles, through nostrils or as ointments. Drug abuse has become a major problem among the school-going youth. A survey by Pride International in 1998 indicated that 80 % of the learners in schools are aware of illicit drugs but only 6% of them know the harmful effects of drugs. This means that majority of the learners indulge in drug abuse unaware of the dangers it causes (Gacicio, 2003). Ingosi (1986) reported that 41% of form three, and form four secondary school students had tried bhang and 10% were still smoking it. Only 19% had experimented with valium and 8% were hooked on it. This indicates that the habit has its roots in the pre-teen years and is further amplified in the teenage years when most of the youth are in secondary schools. Pre-teenage and teenage years are critical in the human life cycle as they involve transition from childhood to adulthood. The young people find themselves in a challenging position as they strive to prepare themselves both physically and intellectually for adult life and at the same time search for identity. They are trying to assume their sex role and learn to come into terms with authority (Kamonjo, 1997).

A survey by the Mayoyo (June 25th, 2003) revealed that there were over 400,000 students who are drug addicts in Kenyan secondary schools. Out of this number, 160,000 were girls while the rest were boys. It was noted that the number of girls abusing drugs was growing at an alarming rate and could soon surpass that of boys. Drug abuse has been cited as one of the causes of the many social problems facing schools. For instance, the report of the task force on the students’ discipline and unrest in schools 2001 identified drug abuse as one of the causes of indiscipline in schools (G.o.K., 2001).

Snyder and Lader (1985) have suggested that adolescence is an intense period of growth and activity characterized by a number of conflicts. Many psychologists call this stage of human development “storm and stress” period and the youths find themselves experimenting with various types of behaviour motivated by curiosity with a view to coping with life’s problems. Among the many different behaviours thus practised by the youth is experimenting with drugs.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that the most widely used drugs in the world are alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, opium and its derivatives, cocaine and hallucinogens. Others are khat (miraa), inhalants and volatile solvents like petrol and glue. Also available are synthetic drugs mainly barbiturates. Studies have also indicated that prescribed and over-the counter drugs were being abused even more widely than reported (Kamonjo, 1997).

Kariuki (1988) and Ochieng (1986) carried out independent surveys, whose findings indicated that alcohol and tobacco were the most prevalent drugs of abuse among the youth because of their status as legal drugs. Others were marijuana and volatile solvents, which are also popular among the adolescents. Abuse of drugs, especially cannabis sativa (bhang), alcohol, tranquilizers and miraa by Kenyan school children seems to be widespread and on the increase. Similarly there has been an out cry reports by doctors, health workers, teachers, parents, community leaders and more so the mass media about the widespread drug and alcohol abuse by the youth. The government through the Ministry of Education has mobilised all schools to use all means to manage the rising trend on drug abuse. Among the many ways of managing the problem is the use of guidance and counselling services.

Makinde (1984) defines guidance as a process of helping an individual to understand himself and his world. Thus counselling is an interactive process, co joining the counselee who is vulnerable and needs assistance and the counsellor who is trained and educated to give assistance with an aim of helping the counselee learn to deal more effectively with himself and reality of his environment.

According to Mutie and Ndambuki (1999) the development of guidance and counselling began in Europe and United States of America at the close of the nineteen century. Guidance and counselling services in Kenya schools according to Sindabi (1992) was initiated in 1960 and has slowly been growing, changing and even getting more sophisticated as the needs of society keeps changing. It was in 1971 that guidance and counselling services was formally structured and a special unit was set up in the ministry of education to organize, administer and supervise the services under the inspectorate section. Even with all this effort by the Ministry, the guidance and counselling services has yet to show strong evidence of success especially in handling personal and social issues as more emphasis is given to education and vocation guidance.

In secondary schools guidance and counselling services are managed by a teacher counsellor appointed by the school head, or by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) with support of guidance and counselling committee. The main functions of the teacher counsellor include planning and developing counselling services, educational and vocational planning, student’s appraisal, and referral work and staff consultation.

Studies done on guidance and counselling just mention drug abuse as a problem in schools but fails to indicate the role guidance and counselling should play in managing the habit. Other researches have concentrated on trends, prevalence, extent, and correlations between drug abuse and social problems in institutions such as Universities and very little has been related to guidance and counselling as one of the several management mechanism. For instance Njuguna (2003) mention that in Nakuru Municipality drug abuse accounted for 65.2% of students needs but mention nothing on what should be done.

In view of this, there was a need to study the influence of guidance and counselling in the management of drug abuse in schools. There is a need for an innovative and relevant guidance and counselling programmes for all secondary schools and other institutions of learning to address the drug abuse problems and other young people needs. Sindabi (1992) argues out for a well-established and organized guidance and counselling services to bring about the remedial and preventative measures necessary in catering for the adolescent needs.

Statement of the Problem
Drug abuse is a serious problem facing secondary school going students. Many as over 400,000 secondary school students in Kenya have been reported as having abused drugs (Daily Nation, June 25th, 2003). This is worrying considering the effect of drug abuse to students. For instance some have dropped out of school, and others have engaged into anti- social behaviours like thefts, riots and destruction of properties and other vices as indicated by Education task force (G.o.K., 2001). The ministry of education has directed all schools to set up guidance and counselling department to help in achieving discipline and instilling positive growth and development. Guidance and Counselling department is expected to provide services to manage social problems like drug abuse. The question that arises is whether guidance and counselling is able to manage the drug abuse problems in schools bearing in mind the wide spread complain by NACADA and other social groups. The mass media like the Kenya Daily Nation and the Standard Newspapers have been reporting many cases of students found abusing drugs. It was therefore necessary for this study to investigate the influence of guidance and counselling on the management of drug abuse.

Purpose of the Study
This study sought to determine the influence of guidance and counselling services on management of students’ drug abuse in secondary schools in Bahati Division.

Objectives of the Study
The study aimed at achieving the following specific objectives:

(i) To identify the types of drugs abused by students in Bahati Division.

(ii) To establish the existing management mechanisms against drug abuse in secondary school in Bahati Division.

(iii) To determine the effectiveness of guidance and counselling in the management of drug abuse among students in Bahati Division.

(iv) To determine the relationship between guidance and counselling services and the level of drug abuse among students in Bahati Division.

(v) To determine the gender of students mainly targeted in guidance and counselling on drug abuse in Bahati Division.

Research Questions
The study addressed the following research questions:

(i) Which are the types of drugs abused by students in Bahati Division?

(ii) What management mechanisms exist against drug abuse in secondary schools in Bahati Division?

(iii) How effective are guidance and counselling services on the management of drug abuse among students in Bahati Division?

(iv) What relationship exists between guidance and counselling services and the level of drug abuse among students in Bahati Division?

(v) Which gender of students is mainly targeted in guidance and counselling on drug abuse in Bahati Division?

Significance of the Study
The findings of this study have indicated the extent to which guidance and counselling services have impacted on management of drug abuse among students. This is important given the emphasis that the government is putting on guidance and counselling as crucial component of the modern secondary school education programme in the attainment of national objectives (G.o.K., 1988; G.o.K., 1976; G.o.K., 1965). The findings of this study may motivate school teacher counsellors to improve the guidance and counselling services in handling drug abuse issues. The findings may also motivate the heads of schools to provide adequate resources in the fight against drug abuse in their respective schools. The study findings could also be used to institute changes in the school curriculum to accommodate drug abuse management mechanisms. Lastly, the study contributes to existing knowledge on drug abuse and the importance of guidance and counselling in addressing drug abuse problems in schools. The research is thus beneficial to educators, policy planners, school administrators, and all those responsible for the positive development of secondary school going-youth.

Scope of the Study
The study focused on the influence of guidance and counselling services on management of students’ drug abuse in secondary schools in Bahati division. Bahati division was chosen as a research site because of its location along Nakuru-Nyeri and Nakuru-Nairobi highway, which is famous for drug trafficking. Its proximity to the highway may have led to a spill over effect as some drugs may be sold in this region by traffickers on their way to and from Nakuru, Nairobi and Nyeri. This implies that the population in this region was rich in information that was being sought. The division also had a large number of secondary schools in the district comprising of provincial and district schools and a multiplicity of ethnic groups. This means that the selection of respondents was not biased in terms of ethnic background, gender or locality. The study area had 47 secondary schools with a population of 7767 students. Only Form Three and Form Two students were used in this study because majority of them were in the adolescent stage where peer pressure play a key role in influencing drug use and abuse. The study involved a sample of students, teacher counsellors and head teachers from the 10 selected schools.

Limitations of the Study
The study encountered a number of limitations which could have impeded answering the research questions and objectives. These limitations included:

(i) Most head teachers were reluctant to reveal the extent of drug abuse among their students fearing that such information could portray their schools negatively and put their administration to question. However, the researcher assured them of confidentiality of the information given and that it would be confined to this study only.

(ii) Locating some of the selected schools in the rural areas consumed more time due to the poor means of transport and communication.

(iii) The researcher would have wished to study all schools in Kenya but due to time and financial constraints it was not feasible. Thus generalizing these study findings to other areas should be done with caution.

Assumptions of the Study
The study was based on the following assumptions:

(i) That all secondary schools in the division had established guidance and counselling programmes.

(ii) The school counsellors, students, teachers and head teachers would cooperate and provide honest responses to questions asked about drug abuse in their schools.

(iii) That all the respondents understood the role of guidance and counselling services in school.

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Item Type: Kenyan Topic  |  Size: 73 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
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