Number of teenage pregnancies higher than thought

Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed has ordered investigations to determine the magnitude of teenage pregnancy in schools.

The CS directed investigators to find out how many students fell pregnant, in all primary and secondary schools countrywide, in the past three years.

Amina said all indications are that the problem is serious than initially thought. The investigators are also to identify the factors that contribute to teenage pregnancy.

She ordered the Quality Assurance and Standards Directorate in her ministry to liase with relevant departments and come up with a comprehensive report for further action.

Amina said this yesterday when she released the KCPE exam results at Star of the Sea Primary School in Mombasa.

“...preliminary statistics show that the magnitude of the problem is far bigger than we had initially thought. We are staring at a national challenge in the face,” she said.

The CS said about nine candidates reportedly gave birth during the Standard Eight national exam.

She said: “We are dealing with a complex issue and will work with all relevant Government agencies to effect the urgent changes required," she said.

Amina lauded Teachers Service Commission for taking decisive action on teachers who sexually assault learners.

The CS further told teachers to stick to the ministry's guidelines on school hours.

“We will not compromise on the safety of our learners for a few extra hours of tuition. Most of our children are falling prey to paedophiles and opportunists,” she said.

Kenya National Examinations Council Chairman George Magoha said parents were responsible for their children falling pregnant at an early age.