OPINIONPeople Daily

Teen pregnancies epidemic alarming

Reports that pregnancies among candidates sitting this year’s national examinations— Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) and Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE)—are in hundreds are mind-boggling, to say the least.    

Education stakeholders, who in truth is everybody, must immediately introspect and seek conclusive solutions to the trend.    

If equity is a key education goal, what this sorry scenario means is that the socio-economic trajectory for the girl-child has been booby-trapped and her future short-circuited. It’s unacceptable.

Every child deserves a hopeful and secure future, precluding being saddled with responsibilities that should come much later in life.  Who are these misfits unhinging the foundation of the girl-child so early in life and in the era of HIV/Aids where unprotected sex can be perilous?     

Tragically, such unsteady start in life, perhaps with negligible exceptions, reinforces the vicious cycle of poverty, in which the offspring of such children are themselves likely condemned to perpetuate the same scenario ad infinitum. It is scary. 

But even as the matter is subjected to scrutiny on causal factors, preemptive questions still beg for answers. Is it the parents who have adopted a laissez-faire attitude to critical issues of parenting?

Then there are suspicions about rogue teachers who have turned wolves in sheep’s clothing, shamelessly preying on their charges. Unfortunately, such cases are legion. And what is missing in our curriculum that can stem the problem; would sex education help? 

Apparently, the negative social forces such as poverty and want to drive some girls into the hands of voracious and often evil-intentioned boda-boda riders who have no qualms about ruining the futures of such young souls. Again, this is well documented.

What spiritual and moral values do we inculcate in the youth? The predisposition to seek instant gratification and self-entitlement are shaking the moral foundation of this country.

Our institutions of worship must soul search too. For heaven’s sake, Kenya has some 4,000 registered churches, with another 7,000 others awaiting registration!  Where is the disconnect between the millions who profess faith and their actual conduct?

Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed has assured the matter will be looked into. We hope this will be done urgently.

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