Assessing the extent to which hunger affects primary pupils of Iki-Iki Sub county,Budaka District
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This is a research report following the research that was conducted in the sampled schools of Iki- Iki Sub County for academic purposes. The study assessed the extent to which primary school pupils of Iki-Iki Sub county, Budaka district were affected by hunger. It is comprised of five chapters. Four schools were sampled with 12 pupils, 8 teachers and 10 parents for purposes of responding to the study. Cross sectional study design was adopted and the study involved qualitative methods of data collection since the study was purely qualitative. The methods included semi-structured, interviews, structured interviews and document reviews. Content analysis was done to assess the extent to which hunger affects primary school pupils and the strategies used by pupils to cope with it and a correlation was run to determine the influence of the perceived effects of short-term hunger on pupils’ attendance, learning and concentration. Results showed that although most of the schools had a school feeding program, most of the parents could not afford to contribute towards it as a result; their children did not have a meal at school. Only few participated in the program leading to most of the pupils going hungry throughout lunchtime. Pupils’ devised their own means of coping with hunger which included looking for fruits, begging from friends, and escaping from school. Consequently, this affected the students’ learning and nearly half of the pupils’ population lost concentration. Others did not understand what the teacher taught, while a few dozed off in class in the afternoons. This partly contributed to the low average mark at the end of the term as the study reveals. Almost all pupils scored an average mark less than average pass mark of UNEB. It was concluded that hunger affects pupils’ learning hence their average mark at the end of the term; therefore impeding the sole purpose schools was established. The extent to which hunger affects primary school pupils goes further to lifetime. This can be proven by the fact that as hunger leads to low concentration in class, the pupils’ performance declines, and drop out levels go high and early marriages take precedence. This increases adult illiteracy in future and less skilled population characterized by poverty and increasing populations due limited knowledge or poor attitude towards family planning. Eventually they produce children whom they are not fully in position to take care of while at school, as a result, their children also drop out and the cycle continues. Therefore, hunger affects pupils so great that its effects extend to generations.