School Dropout in Kenya Fueled By Sensational Terror Media Coverage – Report
A recent study published by the Journal of the European Economic Association revealed that the sensationalized media coverage of terrorism decreased the number of students enrolling in school in Kenya.
In addition, students are sometimes compelled to drop out of school out of fear.
According to the report, homes with access to the media were more affected because parents feared that their children would be killed in terrorist attacks.
Despite the fact that schools were not the direct target of the terrorist attacks, school enrollment decreased by about 0.5% as a result.
Consequently, the report described the long-term effects of inadequate education, such as unemployment and gang membership.
“We estimate that for the average affected learner, this will lower lifetime earning potential by around 25 per cent of a year’s income,” read part of the report.
According to the report, the loss in earnings will have an impact on the country’s economic growth.
According to data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), approximately half of the 70,000 learners who did not attend school in 2014 were influenced by the media’s exaggerated response.
The report also utilized data from the Global Database of Events, Language, and Tone regarding media content (GDELT).
However, the purpose of the report was to warn the media against sensationalizing terror attacks.
Notably, the study observed the enrollment trend in Kenya’s primary schools between 2001 and 2014.
In September 2013, Al Shabaab militants attacked the Westgate Mall, resulting in the deaths of at least 60 people and the severe injury of others.
It was reported that four young men armed with automatic rifles and grenades attacked the typically crowded shopping district.