Gov’t alarmed by high rate of teenage pregnancies in primary schools


Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed addresses the media after supervising KCPE examination process at Moi ...
Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed addresses the media after supervising KCPE examination process at Moi Avenue Primary School on Tuesday, October 30, 2018. PHOTO| COURTESY

In Summary

  • Amina said on Thursday that she has directed the Quality Assurance and Standard department to carry out investigations into the cases and table a report for immediate action to be taken by the ministry.
  • The CS revealed that preliminary reports from the just concluded KCPE examinations indicate that cases of teenage pregnancies are very high.
  • She urged the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) candidates whose examinations start Monday next week to prepare well and assured them of the ministry's support.

Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed has ordered investigations into the high cases of teenage pregnancies witnessed across the country during the 3-day Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examinations period.

Speaking on Thursday, Amina said she had directed the Quality Assurance and Standard department to carry out investigations into the cases and table a report for immediate action by the ministry.

“I have asked my quality assurance and standard department to work with relevant departments to investigate the extent of this situation and give me a report for further action,” she said while addressing the press at Lang’ata Women’s Prison where seven candidates had registered for KCPE.

The CS revealed that preliminary reports indicate that the country could be staring at a crisis, if the issue of teenage pregnancies is not amicably addressed.

“We have detected a high number of candidates who became mothers during the three days of KCPE,” Amina said. “If this is happening all year round in the country, then we could be facing a real crisis.”

She noted that four KCPE candidates sat for their exams at Kenyatta National Referral and Defence Forces Memorial Hospitals in Nairobi.

The CS, however, promised to hold talks with Health CS Sicily Kariuki on the establishment of examination facilities to allow the affected candidates sit their exams in a conducive environment.

“I’m going to discuss with my colleague Sicily Kariuki with a view to put special  facilities in hospital that can be used during examinations to allow candidates to focus on getting the best result they can manage,” said Amina.

A high number of KCPE candidates were this year forced to write their exams in hospitals after going into labour during exams.

A 15-year-old girl from Kericho County on Tuesday gave birth shortly before beginning her KCPE examination and named her newborn baby after Education CS Amina Mohamed.

At Makongo Primary School in Kitui County on Thursday morning, an 18-year old girl gave birth to a baby boy while on her way to school.

Two girls gave birth on Wednesday morning in Elgeyo Marakwet County on day two of KCPE.

Another incident was recorded at Voroni Primary School in Kwale County where a candidate  gave birth to a boy after the examinations began on Tuesday forcing he to take her papers from Kwale Hospital.

Meanwhile, the CS urged candidates sitting the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination from Monday next week to prepare well and assured them of the Ministry’s support.

She expressed her gratitude to her colleagues in the ministry and in government who took their time to supervise national exams.

“I was overwhelmed to see part of my colleges in literally all the corners of our country trying to secure the future of our children,” Amina said.

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Story By Wycliffe Nyamasege
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