Pubdate: Tue, 17 Aug 2004
Source: Daily Nation (Kenya)
Copyright: 2004 Nation Newspapers
Author: Anthony Njagi


President Kibaki yesterday urged parents and teachers to work more closely 
in providing guidance to students.

Alcohol abuse by students was most disturbing, he said, adding: "Abuse of 
alcohol and drugs by students has not only increased indiscipline in 
schools but also complicated the problem of Aids."

Students of Bukembe High School in Western Province, present a folk dance 
during a concert at State House Nairobi, yesterday. Photo by Anthony Njagi

He said young people between the age of 15 and 24 were more at risk of 
contracting Aids than others and that they accounted for half of the new 
infections reported worldwide each year.

The President spoke during this year's schools and colleges music festivals 
State concert at State House gardens, Nairobi.

Present was Education minister George Saitoti, assistant ministers Kilemi 
Mwiria and Beth Mugo, festival chairman Silverse Anami and Education 
director Naomy Wangai.

President Kibaki said increased teenage pregnancies contributed to school, 
drop-outs, adding: "The youth must avoid behaviour that is likely to ruin 
their lives and deny them a secure future."

"Music, poetry and dance are powerful tools of communication which can be 
harnessed to instruct the youth on how to cope with modern challenges."

The President said art had become a lucrative source of employment and 
urged the youth to seize the opportunities.

Estimates indicated that the total value of Kenya's entertainment industry 
exceeded Sh15 billion annually, he said, and urged the youth to view music 
not only as an extracurricular activity but a potential career.

"I am aware that the global music industry has been hampered by the problem 
of piracy. The Government and the nation as a whole are losing huge sums to 
piracy annually through uncollected tax revenue," he said, and urged 
Kenyans to support Government efforts to curb the menace.

Among the teams that thrilled the guests were Bukembe Secondary and Booker 
Academy, both from Western Province; Nairobi's Kianda, Eastern's Masinga 
Girls High and others.

There were also: Kokuru Secondary and Ahero Girls (Nyanza); Rift Valley's 
Carol Academy, Nakuru AEPC Nursery and AIC Lokichogio Primary; Coast's 
Consolata Primary, Mombasa Polytechnic and Dr Aggrey Secondary; Nairobi's 
Karen Technical Training Institute, Kenyatta University, Sharda High and 
Kianda School; Western's Keveye Girls High; Nkuene High and Muthetheni 
High; and Central's Ngenia High and Alliance High.
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MAP posted-by: Keith Brilhart