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Magoha: 652 KCSE pregnant candidates took exam in hospital after delivery

EDUCATION
By Jael Mboga | May 10th 2021

Education CS George Magoha and other KNEC officials at the release of KCSE 2020 results in Nairobi on May 10, 2021. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Some 652 female candidates sat the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exam in hospitals after delivery.

The highest number was 43 students from Bungoma county.

Speaking when he released the 2020 KCSE results at Mtihani House, Education CS George Magoha said parents are to blame for the high number of pregnant candidates.

“Who is hoodwinking our children?” Magoha asked.

Bungoma was followed by Meru which recorded 38 candidates, followed by Nakuru (36), Kisii, and Nandi.

Magoha urged authorities to track down the candidates to ensure they continue with their education.

In 2019, a total of 282 female candidates sat the KCSE Examination in hospitals after delivery.

The counties with the highest prevalence in 2019 included 45 Bungoma (17), Kakamega (16), Meru (16) and Makueni (16).

Pregnant students have in the past attributed their condition to a lack of sanitary pads and being hoodwinked by men who offer to help them buy pads.

But CS Magoha said Sh490 million was spent on buying pads for nine months.

But according to the CS, the challenge is at home.

The number of students who fell pregnant went up in 2020 following the long school closure occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Magoha had earlier issued a directive that all candidates, including pregnant and those breastfeeding, take the exam.

This is unlike in the past, where pregnant candidates would not be allowed to sit the examinations within the schools.

Unlike in the past where guardians, parents, teachers, trusted relatives and boda boda riders were the main sexual predators, the trend is changing. From the victims’ testimonies, their fellow students were responsible for the pregnancies.

Most of the girls were either staying with their grandparents, stepmothers, single mothers and guardians.

The majority of these cases have been reported in slums, town centres and in sugarcane growing areas.

Data obtained from the Ministry of Education portal from 26 counties in Western, Rift Valley and Eastern regions shows that during the lockdown period occasioned by Covid-19, over 17,000 girls in both primary and secondary schools got pregnant. 

During this period, 5,211 pupils from various primary schools were impregnated; 2,780 of those reported to school when they reopened but 2,431 did not.

Some 6,564 secondary students were impregnated but reported back to school.

 

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