Kajiado parents blamed for condoning early pregnancies
Parents in Kajiado County have been blamed for condoning the increasing number of teenage pregnancies which has negatively affected the girl-child education.
The Kajiado Women Representative, Janet Teyiaa, addressing a parents and teachers forum at Osupuko Primary School in Kajiado West on Thursday, urged parents to take up their role of upbringing their girls seriously.
She said societal good morals and standard behaviours are fading away since girls are told they are mothers yet they have not attained the age of becoming such.
“It is very wrong for a parent to start telling young girls they are now grown up mothers at their teen age,” reiterated Teyiaa.
“Our girls are becoming mothers at a very tender age which is not acceptable in our current society,” she added.
The Legislator urged parents to talk to their girls to embrace education and know what is right and wrong to avert the increasing school drop-out rate among girls in the County.
She maintained that it was no longer about culture, but called on parents to ensure there is balance in bringing up of children at the family level and beyond.
“Nobody will talk to our girls on the reality of life when they are growing up and it is only their mothers to tell them the dangers of engaging in sex and the visible consequences, including early pregnancies,” said the Kajiado Women Representative.
She said the performance of public schools in the area has gone down mainly due to school children spending much of their time in activities which are not contributing to education.
Teyiaa called on the area local leaders to pay more attention on public schools within their jurisdiction so as to protect the rights of young boys and girls.
She cautioned parents against abdicating their parental roles to their relatives and grandparents during holidays and instead strive to spend more time with their children.
“Holidays should be time for parents to stay together with their children and teach them,” the legislator urged parents.
Similarly, Edna Lenku, wife of the Kajiado County Governor, speaking at the same event said culture is still a battle for girls in the County.
She said girls are thought about sexual relationships at an early age which they end up becoming victims of teenage mothers and life becomes very challenging for them.
“As leaders we shall continue to advocate for the rights of our girls at all costs to ensure the number of girls transiting to secondary school continue to increase,” said Mrs. Lenku.
The Osupuko Primary School Head Teacher, Kajiado West Constituency, Kipkoech Lagat, said teachers are doing their part to make sure children get quality education, especially those in public schools where children from both rich and poor families are involved.
He challenged parents to support the teachers in bringing up the children while they are at home.
“Parents’ support at home enables a child to concentrate even in school, leading to high performance,” Lagat said.
Lagat said apart from the leaders and teachers being blamed on children’s poor performance and high drop-out rates in school, parents should also play a big role in tracking the movements of their children while at home and in school.
He noted that 13 girls had dropped out of school this year due to pregnancy related issues, and among them four sat for their Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) while nursing young ones.
According to Kajiado County education statistics, there are more boys than girls sitting for the national examinations both in primary and secondary.
In 2017, KCPE 16, 086 candidates with 8, 354 boys and 7, 732 sat for examinations as compared to 2016, where 15, 497 candidates with 7, 913 boys and 7, 584 girls.
In Secondary school a total of 8, 768 candidates sitting for KCSE this year with 4, 042 boys and 3,726 girls as compared to 7, 255 last year with 3, 948 boys and 3307 girls.
The statistics reveals that in two consecutive years the number of boys is higher than that of girls both in primary and secondary school levels.
By Nelly Kosgey