Challenges facing principals in addressing drug and substance abuse in secondary schools in Mombasa county, Kenya.
Muthoni, Gitingu Angelyne
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Studies in students' drug abuse highlight the risk posed by the continued abuse of drugs on discipline, school safety and academic performance. The problem of drug and substance abuse among students is increasingly becoming pervasive in secondary schools in Mombasa County. It is likely to be partly responsible for low academic performance and cases of indiscipline that are witnessed in secondary schools. The purpose of this study was to establish the challenges facing Principals in addressing drug and substance abuse in secondary schools in Mombasa County. The objectives of this study were to establish lack of parental support, influence of social media, ineffectiveness of guidance and counselling programmes in addressing drug and substance in secondary schools. The ultimate aim was to investigate challenges facing Principals in eradicating drug and substance abuse in secondary schools in Mombasa County. Using Urie Brofenbtenner's Ecology of Human Development Theory, this study intended to show that students' environments are responsible for drug and substance abuse. The study employed a descriptive survey research design. The target population comprised of 96 Principals from 33 public and 63 private secondary schools in Mombasa County. 94 secondary school Principals in Mombasa County were selected through census method because the population was very small and it also covered all categories of secondary schools. The validity and reliability of the instruments was established by piloting the instruments in two schools which were not part of the sample. Data was collected using principals' 5-point Likert Rating Scale questionnaire. Data was coded and analysed using SPSS Version 20. Data was presented using frequency tables, pie charts and percentages. The findings of the study indicated that Principals in Mombasa County faced challenges when addressing drug and substance abuse. These challenges were; parental support was not sufficient in curbing drug and substance abuse in schools; social media was found to be a stumbling block in the war against drug abuse among the students while guidance and counseling services were found not to be successful in addressing drug and substance abuse due to of lack of qualified teacher counselors and inadequate teaching and learning resources. The study recommends that, parents should be cooperative and give the Principals adequate support in eradicating this vice in schools. Secondly, the Ministry of Education should strengthen the Guidance and counseling units in all secondary schools in Mombasa County by training qualified teacher counselors and providing resources materials to be used in counseling sessions. The government should also ban advertisement, promotion, and sponsorship of alcoholic products and cigarettes in the media among other recommendations. Further research is necessary to determine how availability of illicit drugs and substance in the school neighborhood hampers the efforts of Principals in curbing drugs and substance abuse.