The Ministry of Education has asked all County Directors of Education, CDEs, to urgently compile data on learners who may be pregnant. This is in light of revelations, last year, that a number of candidates (girls) sitting for the national exams were either expectant or breastfeeding. “The data will be used to inform policy on early pregnancies for 2019 Education Programmes,” says Elyas Abdi, the Director General to the State Department for Early Learning and Basic Education.
The report to be compiled by the CDEs will detail the learner’s school, name, class/ form and whether such a learner delivered before, during or after the 2018 National Examinations for both class eight and form four.
In a rejoinder, the Ministry of Education is also set constitute gender desks at all schools in order to tame the spiraling cases of gender based violence against school children. This is in a bid to increase safety for school going children, across the country. This move has been triggered by the high number of reported cases of gender based violence and high pregnancy rates among school girls. According Dr Amina, a recent economic survey report showed that about 784 school girls were forcibly penetrated (raped) this year. A total of 3,487 cases of defilement also occurred. During the same period, 287 incidents of incest were experienced. Amina added that 107 cases of sodomy and 254 cases of indecent assault were also reported.
Dr Amina had last year said the rate of teenage pregnancies was worrying. During the release of the 2018 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) results, the CS indicated that the vice can only be fought via concerted efforts by all stake holders. Amina reported that the Ministry was “carrying out teenage pregnancies analysis for the last three years: 2016, 2017 and 2018.’