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Early pregnancy affects resumption of learning in schools

At least 150 girls could not report back to school in Bomet County after falling pregnant when the schools closed nine months ago due to Covid-19 outbreak.

Education Principal Secretary, Dr. Belio Kipsang said the ministry of interior in the county had identified and mapped out the whereabouts of the girls.

“We are working with the parents in an attempt to ensure the girls resume learning despite their condition,” the PS said.

He said other counties were doing statistics on the number of girls who have not reported back in school due to early marriage and pregnancies.

“On Tuesday we will make public the situation of the cases of learners who have not reported to their schools. We are currently collating data from the various counties,” he said.

Dr. Kipsang was speaking in Bomet when he toured to assess the situation of resumption of learning in schools after reopening on January 4.

The PS  said the ministry had accounted for 100 per cent of learners and had so far recorded more than 90 per cent turn up so far.

“The turn up is encouraging and has already surpassed our expectations and we know from next week we will be able to record up to 98 per cent turn up,” he said.

He said that as the government was committed to 100% transition from primary school to secondary school, it’s also committed to 100% retention.

On the movement from private schools to public schools, the PS pointed out that only 10,000 learners had crossed, attributing it to lack of school fees rather than private schools not meeting the required learning protocol.

At the same time, Dr. Kipsang revealed plans for the national exams was on top gear.

“We are ready as a ministry and everything has been put in place for the candidates to sit their exams,” he said.

The PS  at the same said plans for primary to secondary transition had been put in place, saying despite the time lost because of the pandemic everything will go smoothly.

He also sought to allay fears by Jua Kali artisans who helped in the manufacturing of desks that the ministry will release payment beginning early next week.

“We have paid Sh. 600 million to our artisans who had given their documents and the remaining Sh.500 million will be paid soon to all artisans through Safaricom M-pesa platform,” the PS said.

“Those who have delivered and availed the required documentations should be assured of getting the payment without delay,” he said.

Dr. Kipsang said ministry of education officers in the field have been directed to ensure that they fast track the clearance of officers who have delivered chairs in schools.

“The relationships between the supply of desks and covid-19, is to ensure that there will be no sharing in class in an effort of keeping social distance protocol provided by the ministry of health,” he pointed out.

He said masks are part of uniforms and parents who will not afford are already identified as really poor and the ministry will supply for the needy learners, adding that Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) had donated 1 million masks to the ministry of education, UNICEF gave 75,000 and 7 million pledged by ministry of health.

By Joseph Obwocha

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