Retrogressive practices hinder access to education in Bungoma

A section of the Bungoma County stakeholders during the meeting organised by Elimu Yetu Coalition that pushes for the quality education for all. Photo by Achola Bulimo Mathews

Lobbyists have blamed retrogressive practices among communities in Bungoma County as a barrier to access to quality education in the region.

A report from the Ministry of Education (MoE) indicated that Bungoma posted over 2,000 grade E in the last form four exams that was released by Education CS Ezekiel Machogu.

They further linked circumcision practice dances that normally occur every even year in August as the greatest contributor to the poor results.

Speaking in  Bungoma on Tuesday, June 18, Joseph Wasikhongo, the coordinator for Elimu Yetu Coalition (EYC), said that the organization that pushes for the implementation for quality Education for all is currently running a project dubbed ‘decreasing barriers to adolescent girls Education and skills in Kenya’ in the region to ensure that girls access quality education.

He argues that girl child is the most vulnerable when it comes to the triple threat in the community, affirming that it is the reason why the coalition has taken up the matter.

“Bungoma County has been known for registering a high number of teenage pregnancies and those are some of the barriers we are talking about, the 2-year project also targets the re- entry of teen mothers back to school and vocational training centers (VTCs),” he added.

Wasikhongo additionally highlighted Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) as another barrier hindering fighting illiteracy in the region.

“One critical point that came out was actually leaving parental engagement. There was a need for parents to be greatly involved in the lives of their children, their lack of involvement is contributing to a huge barrier in ensuring that their learners get access to education,” he noted.

He reports that the project is also targeting other eight counties that are greatly affected by the triple threat effects and the retrogressive practices.

FGM has been cited a one of thy hindrances to education.

Wasikhongo pointed out that in the two years project, they would use Community Based Organizations (CBOs), faith based organizations, village elders, chiefs and their assistants to share information on the importance and benefits of taking their children to school.

Bungoma’s Education CEC David Wamamili applauded Elimu Yetu Coalition for picking the county to implement the project terming the move timely.

“The project has come at the right time because this is the year that our community is going to experience circumcision ceremonies come August and in our conversation we cited the celebrations as retrogressive aimed at dragging our education efforts,” Wamamili said, affirming that the project will help in sensitizing the communities for the importance of taking the children to school.


JSS national ball games shifted from Kisii to Kakamega

Milsane Kiplai, the county’s adolescent sexual reproductive health, gender based violence and early childhood development coordinator, said that as a county they value the girl child’s contribution saying it is the reason why the county has partnered with other actors to ensure that teen mums return back to class.

Kiplai also reported that the county has brought in partners who are ensuring that the girls who cannot go back to school are given an opportunity to join TVET or given capital to indulge into income generating activities so that they become useful members of the community.

“We would like to see a community where a girl child stands out, is empowered and able to make decisions regarding their lives,” she noted.

The County Coordinator reported that according to the data from the Ministry of Health (MOH) it shows that in the last five years Bungoma has had over 12,000 teenage pregnancies noting that in 2018, Bungoma recorded over 22,000 pregnancy cases.

In 2023, the expert revealed that the county had over 12,000 teenage pregnancy cases.

Also present was Bungoma County Teachers Service (TSC) Director Wilson Koros, KNUT officials among other Education stakeholders.

By Achola Bulimo Mathews

You can also follow our social media pages on Twitter: Education News KE  and Facebook: Education News Newspaper for timely updates.

>>> Click here to stay up-to-date with trending regional stories

Sharing is Caring!
Don`t copy text!