Narok Branch Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) have dismissed Commissioner George Natembeya’s directive to check for pregnancy and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) of all girls in upper primary and secondary schools.
The union’s Secretary, Charles Ng’eno said the teachers in the county will not be involved in the tests as that will be demeaning the rights of the young learners.
“It is a violation of rights for any person to invade the privacy of the young girls in the name of checking if they underwent the cut. I want to make it clear that our teachers will not participate in this exercise,” said Ng’eno.
Ng’eno added the directive does not fall under teachers’ mandates so they should ignore it saying no child underwent the cut while in school but all the cases were done during the holidays.
The unionist who spoke to journalists today said the work of a teacher is to guide the young learners on how to socialize and live a self-disciplined life but not intimidating them on their past wrongs.
“I am wondering whether the girls are going to school to learn or to be intimidated. We should give them an ample chance to concentrate in their studies instead of wasting their time in hospitals,” said the Kuppet official.
He however welcomed the commissioner’s efforts to curb cases of early pregnancy, saying Narok County was leading in teenage pregnancy at 40 per cent nationally according to the latest Demographic Health Survey.
During Jamhuri day celebrations held at Narok Stadium last year, the County Commissioner announced that girls set to join form one in the county will be forced to undergo a FGM and pregnancy test before being admitted to school.
Natembeya said girls who will have been found to have undergone the cut will be forced to record statements with the police while those pregnant will be required to identify the men responsible.
“This will curb the high number of teenage pregnancy being reported from this county. It will not be business as usual so girls should take care of themselves during this long holiday,” said Natembeya.
The CC linked FGM to teenage pregnancy saying girls who undergo the cut feel mature enough to engage in sex, hence the reason for high rate of girl pregnancy.
“I will not sit down to watch girls drop out of school because of something avoidable. I vow to fight this vice until we see our girls attain quality education like the boys,” said Natembeya.
He cited Suswa Girls Secondary School in Narok East Sub-County where 17 form one girls were admitted while pregnant in the 2018 admissions.
“We are not opposed to pregnant mothers being in school, but we want to know the men responsible so that they can be punished accordingly. This trend is so shameful,” lamented Natembeya.
By Ann Salaton