Communication strategies in life skills education for underage pregnancy prevention: a case of Rongo sub-county secondary schools
MetadataShow full item record
This study investigated communication strategies in life skills education for underage pregnancy prevention among secondary school students in Rongo Sub-County. The rationale behind this study was that underage pregnancy is on the rise despite the implementation of Life Skills Education in both primary and secondary schools in Kenya. Life Skills are psychosocial competencies which should enable an individual to effectively deal with demands and challenges in life for an active, healthy and productive life. The escalating numbers of underage pregnancies disclose that minimal attention is directed towards adolescence transfer of Life Skills to their daily lives. The study attempted to find out if the missing link was communication. This study was guided by three research objectives; to establish communication strategies used in Life Skills Education; to determine whether the communication strategies used in Life Skills education leads to underage pregnancy prevention and to examine the challenges in the use of communication strategies in Life Skills education to students in Rongo Sub-County secondary schools. This study was guided by Health Belief Model theory and adopted a qualitative descriptive design and collected data from students and teachers in Rongo Sub-County secondary schools using focus group discussions, interviews, and participant observation. A sample of fifty (50) students participated in the focus group discussion while six teachers participated in individual interviews. The sample was obtained through purposive, quota and chain sampling. Data was analysed thematically using manual open coding and NVivo 11 software. Results were presented in a narrative form, illustrated by direct quotes, mind maps and tables. The study revealed that, in the dissemination of Life Skills, teachers utilised non participatory, one directional and top bottom communication strategies which limited students‟ involvement in the learning process. As a result, there was limited Life Skills acquisition, and consequently no retention and application attested by the escalating poor sexual and reproductive health outcomes including underage pregnancy. The study also revealed that the utilisation of participatory communication strategies in Life Skills classrooms was hampered by a myriad of challenges ranging from administrative to lack of stakeholders‟ involvement. The study recommended urgent in-service training of teachers of Life Skills on participatory strategies, stakeholders‟ participation in inculcation of morals to children, provision of resources such as audio-visual aids and infrastructural developments in schools to facilitate participation.