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Some of the school girls who were impregnated over December holidays in various parts of Narok county at Children's office. PHOTO:ROBERT KIPLAGAT

Education
At least 26 girls have dropped out of school due to pregnancy.

At least 26 girls have dropped out of school due to pregnancy.

The girls from schools in Narok North and Narok South got pregnant during the December holidays after undergoing Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

Five of the girls, aged between 12 and 17, are pupils from Olelusie Primary, six from Erusiai School, five from Ilkaraampuri Primary and 10 are from Nkaretta Primary. They are between Standard Five and Eight.

Area Children's Officer Julius Ngoko attributed mess to parents and the community, accusing them of neglecting children and abdicating their responsibily.

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"We are no longer monitoring what our children are doing, that is why they are getting exposed to irresponsible behaviour," said Ngoko.

He said teachers were responsible for some of the pregnancies. Ngoko said the matter was made worse by the fact many parents prefer to settle the cases with the culprits, after receiving some form of compensation, instead of reporting them to the police for legal action.

"Girls are made to feel they are old enough after undergoing FGM. They end up engaging in sexual activities and in the end get pregnant and drop out of school," he said.

He added: "Enrolment in Standard One to Standard Three is high but this is all watered down by the high rate of dropouts in the upper classes due to teenage pregnancies."

"The rate at which girls are dropping out of school is worrying. All stakeholders should work together to ensure girls are retained in school. Those who are already pregnant or affected in any way should be counselled so they can gain the courage to resume studies after delivering."

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A section of women leaders in the region have declared war against those preying on underage girls.

Woman Representative Soipan Tuya said: "Parents, teachers, the children's office and the ministry of Education must ensure the girl child is given an equal opportunity with their male counterparts to get education."

She said: "Many girls are dropping out of school and this must stop, it is unacceptable and I am calling on chiefs to be in the forefront in identifying the culprits so they can be made to face the law."

Sub-county Education Officer Kuyo Ole Saoina said: "Affected girls should continue with their education after delivering as we ensure more are not getting into the same mess."


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