Child labour abuses and biting poverty are fueling school drop out among boys in Mwingi Central, Francis Katiku, area Children’s Officer has warned.
Speaking on Wednesday, Katiku lamented that easy money fetched from charcoal and sand harvesting is suppressing the strides made in improving enrolment in school.
The Children Officer disclosed that primary school boys are skipping classes to harvest sand earning a paltry Sh. 200 per lorry load, to cater for their basic needs.
According to National Drought and Monitoring Authority (NDMA) February 2018 report, casual labour, drought, charcoal production, early pregnancies, and long distance to school are stifling school enrolment.
The report exposes chilling revelations that towards the end of 2017, a total of 1, 204 boys and 954 girls in primary school dropped out of school in Kitui County.
“We are currently handling a case where a lower primary pupil had disagreements with the parents and dropped out of school,” added Katiku.
He lamented that some parents had abdicated their responsibilities, they do not bother where their children are, or what they are doing, neglecting them and giving them freedom to skip classes.
He pointed out incidents of unresolved teacher-student grudges which may lead to dropping out of school.
“So far, we have two cases of primary school truancy in Mwingi. Both students are in class four,” Katiku confirmed.
By Yobesh Onwong’a/Benjamen Maithya