The role of formal education in mitigating abuse of alcohol among pupils: A study of grade 8-12 pupils in selected Secondary Schools in Lusaka District

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Siafwa, Namasiku Sunshine
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Alcohol consumption has occurred for thousands of years World over and for some people it has become a pass-time habit. Nearly every country in the world has citizens who consume alcohol to an extent that, they abuse the substance. It is noted that in many parts of the world, drinking alcoholic beverages is a common feature of social gatherings. Despite there being measures to control alcohol consumption in many societies, many people still abuse the substance. Citizens of various nations start drinking alcohol at ages that vary according to locality. The enforcement of minimum legal drinking ages also varies widely among countries. In many nations the law is not generally enforced unless alcohol is abused and associated with behavioral problems.This study was undertaken to explore the role of formal education in mitigating alcohol abuse by pupils in Zambia. Data was collected in selected schools in the Northern Zone of Lusaka district. Ten secondary schools were sampled six government, two private and two community schools. The research design was a combination of qualitative and quantitative. Self administered questionnaires were given to randomly selected pupils and the sample representative in the selected schools was 22 respondents per school, involving two administrators, four teachers and sixteen pupils. For qualitative approach one to one interviews using semi-structured interview guide was conducted with pupils and teachers. Focus group discussion guide with pupils were used by the researcher.The findings of the study revealed that the causes of early alcohol intake were well known among the pupils themselves, peer influence being the main one. Findings on the second objective which was to establish the extent of sensitization of pupils on alcohol abuse, revealed that there was inadequate sensitization in schools. The findings further showed that the gap on sensitization was created owing to lack of deliberate policy on alcohol abuse. The study also revealed that the pupils knew that alcohol abuse had an effect their learning achievements and this was the third objective. The findings also showed that among the suggested measures to be taken, the respondents recommended formal education as the most favoured intervention.
Alcoholism-Treatment , Drug Abuse-Lusaka,Zambia , Drug Abuse-Prevention(Schools)-Lusaka, Zambia