Editorial Note

Lest we forget, "The State of the World’s Children 2011" document (UNICEF, 2011) reminds us that adolescence is an age of opportunity.  It is a time when children in that age bracket are expected to be in school irrespective of one’s geographical location, gender, social-economic and health status among other factors.  Unfortunately it is also a time when most become vulnerable and lose key opportunities in life.  If and when such a misfortune occurs, most plunge into poverty, become victims of inequity and gender discrimination.  In this issue (3rd), we present two papers that touch on issues that make schooling difficult for most adolescents particularly in sub-Saharan region.  The papers remind us that “in Africa a teenager weighs the sacrifices she [he] must make to stay in the classroom” (UNICEF, 2011, pg. iii).  

The first paper, by Nicholas Bii and Joyce Nzevu is entitled ‘Internal Efficiency and Performance: An Assessment of Secondary Schools in Bureti District-Kenya’. The second is entitled ‘Challenges of Coping with HIV and AIDS Psychosocial Stressors’ by Franscisca. N. Mbutitia.  Both papers have areas of commonality, the major one being the issue of wastage; which manifests itself in students dropping out of school or repeating classes because of avoidable circumstances.  

Bii and Nzevu’s paper sets the stage by discussing ways in which internal efficiency and performance in a school system are related. They highlight the fact that students dropping out of school or repeating classes is largely determined by two factors --

a). family and student’s characteristics which affect the demand for education.  (b). the education policies implemented by a particular school.  

Wastage could be defined as the total number of students who begin an educational program i.e. in a school or college and cannot complete due to various reasons; and efficiency in education is illustrated by the ways in which pupils in an educational program progress, or defectively progress or fail to progress.  In their paper, Bii and Nzevu examine the relationship between internal efficiency and performance in secondary schools in Bureti District in Kenya and discuss factors that contribute to wastage in that particular region.  

HIV and AIDS are phenomena that have contributed to wastage in the heavily affected regions in sub-Sahara Africa.  The second paper is a report of a study which sought to find out ways in which girls affected and infected with HIV and AIDS cope with their day today activities be it schooling or life outside school.  The study reaffirms that the high HIV and AIDS prevalence in the study site cause psychological distress on those affected and infected particularly adolescent girls.  Because of the ways in which the distress affects the girls, each embraces different coping strategies.  In addition, Mbutitia reports that the girls who participated in the study adopted either adaptive or maladaptive coping strategies.  Missing lessons and school, dropping out of school, and engaging in irresponsible sexual behaviors, early marriages and suicide are some of the maladaptive strategies reported in the paper.  

In Kenya, a substantial number of secondary and primary schools are residential (boarding schools).  That means a high number of adolescent learners spend more days in a given year in school than at home.  In that regard, the issues raised by the two papers should be of concern to educators in the various sectors of education and particularly teachers and school principals of all schools categories. Schools in collaboration with stakeholders have to intentionally address the factors that contribute to wastage in their locality, some of which call for better understanding of the assortment of dangers that adolescents face.  


Prof. jennifer wanjiku khamasi, Ph.D
Chief Editor,

Journal of Educational Management and Leadership - JASEML ISSN 2078-7650



UNICEF (2011).  The State of the World’s Children 2011, UNICEF, New York.