By Beth Nyaga
The Cabinet Secretary for Education, Science and Technology Dr. Fred Matiang’i, has directed the Board of Management of St. Mary’s Shohome Girls High School in Kakamega County to ensure that 16 pregnant girls register for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations.
The Girls were, according to reports in a local daily, denied to register for the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) examinations for being pregnant.
He has asked the Kakamega County Director for Education, Mrs. Susan Murerwa to work with local administration to ensure the students are registered.
Dr. Matiang’i said he had asked the Acting Chief Executive Officer for KNEC, to facilitate the students’ registration even though the registration period had lapsed.
The CS said that it was unfair and against the education policy to deny girls education or to sit for examinations for being pregnant.
Mrs. Florence Najoli, was, however quoted by the local daily as denying that she had refused to register pregnant girls.
She nevertheless termed the rate of pregnancy in the school as alarming and urged the community to work with the school to address the problem.
The area County Director for Education, Mrs. Murerwa said she notified the principal of the school regarding the directive to register the students.
“The school is combing the villages to get the students back to the school so they can register for the examinations as directed,” Mrs Murerwa said in a telephone conversation.
Teenage pregnancy is one of the basic causes of girls drop out of school and has a significant impact on educational outcomes of the girls.
The policy of the Ministry is that pregnancy should not be a cause of girls dropping out of school—the girls should be enabled to continue school and be given an opportunity to sit for the national examinations if she happens to be a candidate