INFLUENCE OF SCHOOL- BASED LIFE SKILLS EDUCATION PROGRAMME ON STUDENTS’ SEXUAL BEHAVIOUR IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN NAIROBI AND BUSIA COUNTIES KENYA
MAYABI MULAMBA, JANEROSE
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In Kenya, as elsewhere in Africa, schools play a key role in imparting important information on reproductive health and human relations to students. The last decade has been characterized by early and increased premarital sexual activities among the students. To address the challenge, stakeholders have agitated for introduction of school-based life skills education as a key strategy in promoting safe sexual behaviour among students. The current study assessed the influence of school-based life skills education on students‟ sexual behaviour in secondary schools in Kenya. The study used Ex post facto and descriptive survey research designs. The target population was 20,227 Form Three students in Nairobi and Busia Counties. The two counties were chosen as they have a high number of students engaging in sexual activities. Accessible population was 3568 Form Three students in the seven districts. Multi stage, probability proportionate to size, purposive, stratified and simple random sampling was used to select the participants. The study sample comprised of 378 students, 21 teachers, 21 school principals and 7 education officials. Data was collected using questionnaires and an interview schedule. Validity of instruments was checked through expert opinion and reliability tested using Spearman Brown Prophecy formula after a pilot study. Data collected was analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics with assistance of computer statistical package for social sciences (SPSS). The results showed that there was a strong relationship between life skills education and students‟ sexual behaviour. Students who had high levels of awareness abstained from sexual activities. Analysis showed that both male and female students were sexually active at the time of the study. Statistical differences were not found between rural and urban females sexual behaviour; however, rural males had more sexual risk behaviour than their urban counterparts. Majority had moderate level of awareness. Students demonstrated positive perception of LSE. The findings also show that although LSE is being partially implemented, it faces a number of challenges. There is therefore a pressing need to avail LSE in all schools and strengthening of commitment and policy action on part of government to ensure the programme is implemented in all schools. The findings of the study hopefully will assist all stakeholders who include the Ministry of Education to evaluate and reinforce its programmes on life skills Education in schools to meet its objectives.