The management of Nderema secondary school in Navakholo Sub County is calling of the education stakeholders to come on board and save the institution from immense cases of early pregnancies being recorded for the last two years.
The principal Jeremiah Ongeso while addressing administrators and human rights defenders advocating against gender based violence (FIPA) friends initiative for peace Africa, expressed his worry on the growing cases of pregnancies at the institution over the years and noted that
it was time for the relevant authorities to come on board as the school was on the brink of collapse if necessary actions were not taken to salvage it.
The concerned principal narrated how his effort to bring on table parents had failed as most of them did not appreciate the usefulness of education and others had left their homes to search for employment after the collapse of Mumias Sugar company.
“It is unfortunate that we have caught ourselves in this situation and all our avenues to have a quorum with our parents over this issue has been futile as most of them fear coming to school since they have fee arrears while others have left their homes in search of employment elsewhere after the cane company they worked for closed its doors rendering them jobless.
The poverty levels here are alarming and this has led to most girls and boys in the families left to fend for themselves including paying for their own school fees among other basic needs and this trend has resulted to our girls trading sex for basic needs ending up pregnant.”
Ongeso confirmed that already the five candidates who are pregnant out of the 17 in the whole school have been sent home to give birth and come back before the start of the end year Kenya certificate of secondary education (KCSE) slated net month in line with the ministry of education policy.
“Our school has had a history of recorded high numbers of teen pregnancies and it is even a sigh that this time round we are at 17 from the initial 24 but we are not happy as we should be having at least zero cases over the same as it unacceptable for school girls to get pregnant while still in school, but since the ministry has given its direction that no school girls found pregnant should be sent home then we are abiding by the policy to the latter.”
Local administrators present condemned the high numbers of pregnancies and urged the parents to closely monitor their children when at home as it is where the
acts were committed. They promised to instill harsh and strict vigilance to nab those taking advantage of the vulnerability of the girls to impregnate them adding that those found culpable will face the full force of the law.
The chairperson of the Friends initiative for peace Africa Boaz Mukaramoja harshly criticized the vice and wondered why the culprits were still walking scot free challenging the local administration to swing into action ad apply all mechanism to apprehend those behind the
“We as human rights activists cannot just fathom the idea that the girls do not know who impregnated them, and let the whole idea go away, at least someone somewhere knows something and if proper mechanisms are put in place then we can have some people going behind bars for a very long time”
“We have heard these students speak out their minds and grievances and most of them have the zeal to learn but most of their parents have totally neglected them and it is
on these grounds that we came on board to try and find a lasting solution once and for all and make this school great again, let us be sober and deliberate on the best way forward on how we can assist the community understand the true meaning and importance of education to their
The principal called on other non-governmental organizations community based organizations CBO’s and well-wishers to come to their aid in assisting the girls meet their basic needs with sanitary pads and other toiletries being a necessity for them.
The students expressed their need to improve their school mean by calling on well-wishers to team up with the principal to purchase for them more supplementary books and papers for frequent testing so as to be able to compete with other schools within the sub county.
By Wycliffe Andabwa