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FGM linked to girls’ poor KCPE results

By Joseph Muchiri

Embu County

Despite the harrowing experience girls go through during forced Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) it has emerged the ritual contributes to poor performance in school.

For instance, the bottom four schools in the just-released Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exam results in Embu County are from Mbeere area, where FGM, early marriages, and child labour are prevalent.

The schools are Kaveti Primary with a mean of 182, Kerwa at 180, CCM Ndune with a mean of 176, and Irari with 172.

The National Council for Children’s Services (NCCS) reports that 60 per cent of female population in Mbeere have secretly undergone FGM. The council further reports that 24 per cent of children aged between five and 14 years are involved in child labour in the miraa growing parts of Mbeere.

Married off

Late last year, four girls from CCM Ndune Primary School, who had been married off in Makima area, Mbeere South District were rescued by children officers assisted by the local Provincial Administration.

Yesterday, Area children’s officer Grace Nyawira said the top candidate at the school, who scored 250 marks had been married off earlier against her wish but was rescued.

“It is shocking that one of the girls was married off to a parent in the school, another one by a local businessman, another had eloped with a tout while the fourth girl was allegedly impregnated by a class seven schoolmate,” said Nyawira.

Remedial

Local Parents and Teacher’s association chairman Abel Njagi blamed parents for refusing remedial classes for weak pupils.He said many parents were uncooperative and since Free Primary Education was introduced, they were unwilling to contribute