School calls for outside help to tame teenage pregnancies

The Pincipal of Nderema secondary school Jeremiah Ongeso

Nderema Secondary School in Navakholo Sub-county is asking stakeholders to help save the institution after many cases of early pregnancies were recorded in the last two years.

The principal Jeremiah Ongeso, addressing human rights defenders Friends Initiative for Peace Africa (FIPA), noted that it was time relevant authorities came on board as the school was on the brink of collapse.

He narrated how his efforts to involve parents failed as most of them did not appreciate the usefulness of education, while others had left home in search of employment after the collapse of Mumias Sugar company.

“Poverty levels here are alarming. This has forced girls to trade sex for basic needs,” he said.

Ongeso confirmed that five candidates who are pregnant have been given a break to deliver in time for KCSE in less than two weeks.

“This is a small number compared to before. There should be zero cases as it is unacceptable for school girls to get pregnant, but since the ministry has given its direction, we have to allow them back to do their exams,” he revealed.

Local administrators present condemned the high numbers of pregnancies and urged parents to closely monitor their children while at home.

Nderema secondary students keenly followig the proceeigs at their school

They promised to nab those taking advantage of the vulnerable girls, saying those found culpable will face the full force of the law.

FIPA chairperson Boaz Mukaramoja harshly criticized the vice and wondered why the culprits were still walking scot-free.

“We as human rights activists cannot just fathom the idea that girls do not know who impregnated them. If proper mechanisms are put in place, we can have some people going behind bars for a very long time,” he said.

The principal called on other non-governmental organizations, community-based organizations (CBOs) and well-wishers to assist the girls meet their basic needs to avoid such misfortunes.

The students, nevertheless, expressed optimism to pass in their exams, calling on well-wishers to purchase for them more supplementary books and papers for frequent testing.

By Andanje Wakhungu

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