People Daily

113 teen pregnancies jolt Kitui

People Team @PeopleDailyKe

Even before the dust settles on startling statistics on teenage pregnancies that have jolted the government, details have emerged that at least 113 girls sitting the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exam in Kitui county are either expectant or have given birth since the tests kicked off on Monday.

County Education Director Adano Salesa yesterday disclosed that of the 113 candidates, 41 have already delivered while 72 are due.

This comes as the Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed ordered a probe to establish the number of pregnant teens as well as the culprits.

She also revealed a strict policy to curb the menace was in the pipeline after more than 20 KCPE exam candidates delivered during the tests.

Salesa said he had been notified by invigilators that some candidates were writing their exam from hospitals after delivery. He said he had not been informed before the exam commenced.

“This is the highest number of girls to be found pregnant while writing their papers and it is really worrying. It is also unfortunate that the numbers keep increasing,” said Salesa. “We will investigate since the girls got pregnant during the last year of their secondary education and teachers must have noticed.”

Education Principal secretary, Belio Kipsang, who oversaw the dispatch of papers in Nairobi’s Westlands, regretted that most students conceived during the school term.

He pointed an accusing finger at school principals, parents and government officials, who he said were sleeping on the job.

“From what I gather, most of these girls conceived in February yet they were expected to be in school. How could this be possible especially in boarding secondary schools?” Belio asked.

And in Athi River, Machakos county,  Amina warned exam centre managers who breach rules would be dropped from invigilating with immediate effect. She CS said some officials overlooked simple rules, such as displaying identification badges, which she said would cost them dearly.

Meanwhile, Coast-based artists have condemned Kilifi ban on night discos in weddings and funerals in Kilifi, aimed at taming teenage pregnancies.

Led by the legendary Joseph Katana Ngala, who is the founder of bango music, musicians said they are not to blame for the increased cases of teenage pregnancies.

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