More than 70 percent of children in Tiaty constituency of Baringo County are yet to recognize and appreciate the value of going to school.
The East Pokot Sub County Administrator, William Chelal blamed the trend in the region on forced early marriages, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and in security putting literacy levels at around 30 percent.
Chelal was addressing children, teachers, parents and stakeholders on Friday at Michuki grounds in Chemolingot town during the belated Day of African Child Celebrations, calling for the deployment of relevant government officials especially children officers to help carry out massive awareness campaigns on the importance of education to the local child and vices going against children rights.
He said the officers will assist in dealing with the biting challenges affecting children education and other inalienable constitutional rights as prescribed in the Children’s Act.
The County Coordinator of Children Services, Omuse Otijom who graced the occasion lamented that the deep rooted cultural practices of the community was a major impediment to the children’s education especially the girl child who is regarded as wealth asset.
Otijom said the culture which is not in tandem with the 21st century way of life was denying children of the community an opportunity to access education like their counterparts in other parts of the country.
The East Pokot Deputy County Commissioner (DCC), Jacob Awour said they had appointed security officers who will deal specifically with those who engage in the vices that violate the rights of the girl child.
“You should help us to maintain law and order in the area and ensure that every child is protected and none of their rights is violated by anybody. Anyone who refuses to comply with child rights must be reported to the relevant authorities immediately,” he stated.
The DCC also asked local residents to shun outdated practices like cattle rustling and banditry that he said had given the region a bad name.
By Irine Bartonjo/Joshua Kibet