What you need to know:
- Ministry of Education overrules waiving of school fees for teen mothers.
- Proposal placed by the Federation of African Women Educationists (Fawe), the Kenya Women Parliamentary Association (Kewopa) and Maendeleo ya Wanawake Organisation (MYO) in a joint memorandum dated December 29.
- Government to ensure that students, especially in day schools, will be supported to nurture their young ones.
The Ministry of Education has overruled waiving of school fees for teen mothers.
The proposal had been placed by the Federation of African Women Educationists (Fawe), the Kenya Women Parliamentary Association (Kewopa) and Maendeleo ya Wanawake Organisation (MYO) in a joint memorandum dated December 29.
“That the government has made it very clear that getting pregnant while in school should not be victimised and not be subject to stigmatisation, we request that their school fees in secondary schools be waived and special infrastructure be enabled to their benefit,” the memorandum read in part.
Nurture young ones
Education Chief Administrative Secretary Zack Kinuthia said the government will ensure that students, especially in day schools, will be supported to nurture their young ones.
“We would have no problem with ensuring that the young mothers can receive their babies during set hours. The babies can be brought in and be suckled within the school compound. It would be incumbent of school heads to work out a schedule for this to be done in a friendly atmosphere, said Mr Kinuthia, during a meeting in Murang'a County.
Mr Kinuthia said waiving fees for teen mothers may be presumed to be an incentive for more girls to get pregnant.
“The government has put all school children in the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) and this should be taken as a way to securing the future of our teen mothers given that delivering in public hospitals is also free of charge,” he said.
Instead of pushing for fee waivers for teen mothers, Mr Kinuthia urged lobby groups to push all custodians of bursary funds to expedite processing to benefit teen mothers.
Further, the CAS announced that the President has also directed the ministries of Education and Interior to geo-map all schools that are at risk of readmitting students who have since been indoctrinated into criminal enterprises and effectively make arrangements on how to secure students and teachers.
Meanwhile, parents in Kirinyaga have been told to allow their pregnant daughters resume learning when schools reopen in January next year.
According to the local Jubilee chairman Mureithi Kang'ara, many schoolgirls who have been at home since March this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic have been impregnated and they should be given a chance to continue with their education.
Speaking on Tuesday evening at Riandira village in Mwea Constituency, Mr Kang'ara noted that some parents were reluctant to take the affected girls back to school.
"The girls have a right to go on with their education despite what happened during the long break. Therefore, parents should encourage them to go back and pursue their education," he said.
Mr Kang'ara called on chiefs to ensure that all girls resume studies in January.
"Chiefs should make sure that all girls go back to school whether their parents like it or not," he added.
Mr Kang'ara noted that girls should not be denied their right to getting an education adding that those infringing on the right will be prosecuted.
At the same, Mr Kang'ara asked the police to take legal action against men who impregnate school girls.
"Those men are committing a crime and they should be apprehended and taken to court," he said.