Gov’t sets aside Ksh.470M to buy sanitary pads for school girls

Education CS George Magoha at AIC Boarding Primary school in Kajiado County.
Education CS George Magoha at AIC Boarding Primary school in Kajiado County.

The government has set aside Ksh. 470million to buy sanitary pads for 1.6 girls in public primary and secondary schools.

The program targets girls in Class 6, 7 and 8 who are expected to have started experiencing their menstruation.

“Poor menstrual management keeps girls out of school for approximately 25% of their school days in a year,” Education CS George Magoha said.

He was speaking during the launch of the program for pads distribution at A.IC Boarding girls, Kajiado County earlier this week.

According to him, a significant number of girls dropped out due to lack of facilities in schools to help them manage the menstruation process.

Prof. Magoha said the program aims at ensuring the government provides equal access to quality and relevant education for both boys and girls irrespective of their socio-economic status.

He said the program will contribute to improved performance of girls in education by boosting their pride and dignity, ensure there is reduced school absenteeism thereby enhancing retention and transition of all girls in the education cycle.

“It will also improve the health of the girls, some of whom end up using unsafe materials that can lead to infection,” Prof. Magoha said.

He said that poor menstrual hygiene management causes adolescent girls’ anxiety and low self-esteem, thereby contributing to absenteeism and hence leading to poor performance in schools.

Prof. Magoha urged schools to do all they can to ensure that there are adequate sanitary facilities including bathrooms for girls to be able to manage menstruation while at school.

Present during the launch was Education CAS Mumina Bonaya, Early Learning and Basic Education PS Belio Kipsang, Chairperson of Education & Research Committee Florence Mutua, several MPs and senior government officials.

A statement from the Education Ministry said the government spent Ksh. 240million for the first time in the Financial 2011/2012 financial year to provide towels to 443,858 girls in public primary schools.

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