Teen pregnancies drop

Awendo sub-county education director Yobesh Magara with sub county commissioner Hadulo Jillo when they visited a KCPE candidate who gave birth during Exam period at Rapcom Medical centre. (Caleb King'wara, Standard)

The number of Teenage pregnancies among candidates who sat this year’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Education has significantly dropped.

"During the 2018 KCPE examination, more than 50 cases of teenage pregnancies and births were reported. This year, that number stood at 10,” Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha said during the release of the KCPE exam results on Monday. 

Eight out of the 10 pregnant girls sat their exams from maternity wards. Some of the pregnant girls did not show up to sit the exams after giving birth earlier on in the year.

“I wish to commend all stakeholders who, in one way or the other, have helped us alleviate cases of teenage pregnancies in our schools, which end up ruining the lives of our young daughters,” Prof Magoha said.

He credited the decline to vigorous awareness campaigns in all parts of the country. The campaign was spearheaded by the Ministry of Education through its field officers and "critical stakeholders".

Women teachers have been key participants in the campaign, mobilising fellow women in their communities to sensitise girls about sexuality at the grassroots level. Through the Kenya Women Teachers Association (Kewota), the teachers also aim to eliminate the stigma among the victims.

In 2018, former Education CS Amina Mohamed ordered the team to investigate teenage pregnancies to expand its scope of analysis. The team submitted its report early this year.

Last year, CS Magoha encouraged parents of teenage girls to participate in the campaign aimed at reducing teenage pregnancies.

Overall, the number of dropouts increased from 11,000 in 2018 to 11,950 in 2019 and the number of teenage mothers remains high.?