Home Kenya News 44% of schoolgirls likely to drop out due to pregnancy

44% of schoolgirls likely to drop out due to pregnancy

pregnant school pupil

Forty-four percent of schoolgirls almost certainly will not be reporting back to school in January due to pregnancies.

The National Parents Association says Narok, Kilifi, and Kakamega counties lead in cases of teenage pregnancies.

The association said 44 percent of Narok school-going girls were pregnant, leading to fears of a massive dropout rate when schools reopen.

In their meeting in Naivasha on Saturday, they did not give numbers.

Schools closed in March due to Covid-19.

Vice-chair Sarah Githinji said FGM is the main contributor to teen pregnancies.

“Once they undergo the cut, the girls feel they are mature. This has been worsened by motorcycle operators who have contributed to the majority of these cases,” she said.

Githinji said 38 percent of Kilifi schoolgirls are known to be pregnant and 36 percent of Kakamega girls.

She said reported numbers of child and teen pregnancies were low in Lamu, Embu, Nyeri, Wajir, and Isiolo.

The number of registered cases of pregnancies in Lamu is 1,285, in Nyeri it’s 2,508, in Isiolo it’s 2,851, she said.

Githinji said most girls were made pregnant by close relatives and fellow students, complicating a worrying situation.

On abortion, Githinji said Nairobi county had 47 teen pregnancies known to have been aborted by quacks, putting girls’ lives in great danger. The actual number is not known.

“Nairobi is leading in the number abortions, which are being carried out in the back streets. We have seen the number of missing teenage girls in the county also rise,” she said.

The vice-chair said staying at home had adversely affected pupils and students and the coming months will be trying.

“These students have been exposed to s.e.x, drugs, and alcohol at a very tender age and definitely schools will have a hard time in the first few months,” she said.

Association chairman Nicholas Maiyo said the situation had taught them that students are safer at school than at home.

While at home, Maiyo said, pupils and students had been exposed to s.e.xual exploitation, early marriage, and recruitment into militia groups.

The problems go beyond pregnancies. Child labour has increased, so has malnutrition as vulnerable learners are not getting free meals, Maiyo said.

He said the association was keen to partner with and support the government especially in the next three weeks after learners had been home for more than nine months.

“We shall undertake nationwide campaigns to increase the levels of preparedness of all parents as schools reopen in the coming weeks,” he said.

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