Leaders in Narok County have challenged parents in the county whose daughters fell pregnant during the nine-month period when schools were closed due to Covid-19 pandemic to return them to school.
Narok County Women Representative Soipan Tuya said whatever mistakes resulted into the girls’ getting pregnant it should not be ground to make them drop out of school.
Ms. Tuya spoke at her Narok office Friday, when disbursing Sh16 Million bursary from the National Government Affirmative Action Fund (NGAAF) to benefit needy learners in the county.
“I urge parents not to marry off their daughters just because they are pregnant. We all made mistakes but we did not give up on education and see where we are today,” said Ms. Tuya.
She reiterated that a mistake is not a mistake unless it is repeated over and over asking parents to give their daughters a second chance.
Her sentiments come at a time when the pastoral community is grappling with rampant teenage pregnancies, Female Genital Mutilation and early forced marriages.
Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) in charge of Labour Patrick Ntutu also challenged parents not to shy off from taking their girls who fell pregnant to school.
He said the girls should be given an equal opportunity as that given to the boys because they too have a potential of becoming influential people in the society.
Ntutu who spoke during a back to school tour at Arid Zone Primary School in Narok South Sub County yesterday said parents who fail to return their children to school risk being arrested and prosecuted in court of law.
“President Uhuru Kenyatta has ordered all school going children to go back to school regardless of the situation. Anyone found still hiding their children at home will be punished thoroughly,” he reiterated.
In a different forum, Narok East constituency Member of Parliament Ken Aramat lamented over a large number of girls from his constituency who are yet to report back to school.
He specifically took issue with Suswa girls where over 60 girls are yet to report back to school almost two weeks after the schools were reopened for second term.
“We guess that the 60 girls fell pregnant during the nine months break occasioned by the emergence of Covid-19. However, we ask their parents to return them back to school so that they can complete their studies,” said Aramat.
Recently, Narok governor Samuel Tunai said over 5, 000 teenage girls in the county had fallen pregnant during the long school holiday due to the pandemic as recorded from the antenatal clinics in the county.
By Ann Salaton