Lamu, KENYA: Cases of school girls being impregnated and subsequently having to quit school in Witu division of Lamu West have greatly reduced.
According to records at the division education office, the cases have gone down by a 30% margin.
Witu Education Officer James Akello said the number of girls enrolling into and attending school has also increased greatly.
Akello said girls had been empowered and were now taking education more seriously as opposed to previously when early marriages and teen pregnancies among school girls had been on the rise.
He said nowadays, only about three to six cases of teen pregnancies and subsequent dropouts are reported each month compared to before when his office would receive more than 30 similar cases in a single month.
Areas that had been worst affected by the trend include Pandanguo,Dide Waride,Maisha Masha,Soroko and Chalaluma which are mainly inhabited by nomadic herders.
Akello said the education office had been instrumental in changing perceptions of the community towards girl child education and that together with local chiefs education officers had taken it upon themselves to go round the region creating awareness and encouraging the herders to send their girls to school.
“Between 2014 and 2015,there were so many cases of school girls getting pregnant and quitting school and getting married here in Witu.we however are thankful that after several campaigns to create awareness of the need for education for girls, the future is finally looking bright. For the last three months, we haven’t recorded any case of a girl quitting school due to pregnancy or getting married and we are glad,” said Akello.
The Witu Assistant County Commissioner Elijah Kipteroi said a committee had been formed by the county administration to go round the entire Witu division and record the names of all children who had quit school for no logical reason and have them and their parents prosecuted.
The administrator urged locals to embrace education and rescue themselves from the biting poverty levels in the region.
“We want to play a part in encouraging a learning culture and therefore we want to have all those kids who have just decided to drop out of school for the fun of it prosecuted.Children belong to school and not elsewhere and that’s what we shall ensure happens,” said Kipteroi.