Access to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitary Facilities and Pupil Participation in Education in Public Primary Schools in Kenya: A Case of Gichugu Constituency, Kirinyaga County
Gachahi, W. Michael
Githaka, W. Priscah
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Provision of safe water for consumption and appropriate sanitation facilities have variously been advocated as critical forerunners to pupil participation in primary school education. However, these facilities are not consistently provided, that in various schools, water and cleanliness services are in dilapidated condition and thus expose pupils to obvious health risk and unsafe learning environments. This study investigated the access to clean water for drinking and sanitary facilities and pupil participation in education in public primary schools in Gichugu Constituency, Kirinyaga County, Kenya. The objectives of the study were to; assess the relationship between availability to safe drinking, establish the provision of sanitation facilities and pupil participation in public primary schools. The research design used in this study was the descriptive survey and the theory that guided it was the Social Constructionist of Sahlin. The target population covered 75 head teachers in public primary schools in Gichugu Constituency. Krecjie and Morgans formula was used in sample size determination which yielded a sample of 63 respondents and simple random sampling to select the study sample. A self-scoring questionnaire administered to the sampled respondents was used to collect data. Descriptive statistics, namely frequencies and percentages were used in data analysis and was aided the computer software SPSS version 20. The findings were represented in form of frequency tables and narrations. The research revealed that most schools had hygienic and water for drinking available to the learners. The study also revealed that academic participation improved in schools where pupils had hygienic drinking water, while absence of clean water for drinking led to poor school. The study established that poor sanitation amenities led to occurrence of infections which affected learners’ participation in curricular activities. Lack of clean conveniences added to absenteeism and high occurrences of diseases among pupils in primary schools. In line with the findings, the study commends that the, National and County Governments and the local community should ensure that all public primary schools in Gichugu Constituency have been supplied with piped water in order to control infections that affect pupils’ attainment of education. Education stakeholders ought to underscore the provision of adequate sanitation facilities schools so as to advance pupils’ hygiene and participation in school.