Plight of Teenage Pregnancy: Kakamega girl hopes to return to school

School girls. Image|Courtesy

In mid-March, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced closure of all learning institutions across the country following the coronavirus outbreak in the country

Students and pupils across the country have been home for the past 3 months.

As the ministry of education prepares to reopen schools, we met with Meline Mathews (not her real name), a 13-year-old class 6 girl pupil and a mother of a six weeks old baby in Kakamega County.

Meline is among many other young girls in the country, who gave birth at a young age. Her mother says that she was not aware of the pregnancy.

"I didn't know anything about my daughter pregnancy. She was always busy with school work that we could not notice any new behavior change in her. When schools were closed in March, it is when I noticed she was not her usual self,” said the mother Mrs. Grace.

Current reports and studies have shown that there is a high number if early pregnancies in the country, owing to the school closure. Kakamega County is among the leading counties with the highest number of teenage pregnancies.

Education Cabinet Secretary Prof. George Magoha has questioned the credibility of the figures and saying that the blame goes on the adults.

Speaking to the area chief Mr. Henry Masinde, he said that the rate at which teenage pregnancies is picking in the country is worrying and parents should also take responsibility.

Meline Mathews, not her real name. Image|Courtesy

" It's so sad that children are not safe with their parents and many parents have obligated the duty of looking after their children fully to teachers. The fight against early pregnancies cannot be singly handled by the government. It's a collective responsibility. Parents should also be concerned about the whereabouts of their children during this period," said Mr. Masinde.

A couples of week ago, a family mourned their 14-year-old, a form one student, who committed suicide after she was reprimanded by her elder brother over an alleged love affair.

On Thursday I had to separate two candidates, a form four and a class eight pupil who had married each other with an approval of both their parents. We cannot be fighting early marriages as a country and the people to help are the ones giving full support. It will be difficult to end poverty in future because the generation we expect to elevate the standards are rushing into creating families with no future plans, added the area Chief.

He also called on parents to look for better ways to reprimand and discipline their children to avoid another occurrence of Children taking their own lives.

Kakamega County women representative, Miss Elsie Muhanda urged parents to learn to be with their children and protect their girls during this abnormal times in the country.

Meline prayed that she be accepted back to school when they reopen, hoping that her light will not be shattered

"The only challenge I have is school fees and I'm hoping that I can get assistance to further my education again. Many schools are always reluctant to take girls like me back to class, I hope I can still be accepted," she said.

During his speech on Monday, President Uhuru appealed to the social and religious institutions to help the country bring the unfortunate of increased teenage pregnancies.

The president directed the education ministry to notify the country on the reopening of the 2020 academic calendar for schools and tertiary institutions.


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