The Ministry of Education has rejected the waiving of school fees proposal for teen mothers.
The recommendation had been tabled by the Federation of African Women Educationists (Fawe), the Kenya Women Parliamentary Association (Kewopa), and Maendeleo ya Wanawake Organisation (MYO) in a joint notice dated December 29.
“That the government has made it very clear that getting pregnant while in school should not be victimized and not be subject to stigmatization, we request that their school fees in secondary schools are waived and special infrastructure be enabled to their benefit,” the memorandum read in part.
Education Chief Administrative Secretary Zack Kinuthia said the government will ensure that learners, particularly in day schools, will be supported to nurture their young ones.
“We would have no problem with ensuring that young mothers can receive their babies during set hours. The babies can be brought in and be suckled into 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 considered to be an encouragement 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.
Alternatively, Mr. Kinuthia advised lobby groups to drive all custodians of bursary funds to facilitate the education of teen mothers.
Continue With Education
In Kirinyaga County, parents have been encouraged to support their pregnant daughters to continue with learning when schools reopen in Jon Monday.
Speaking on Tuesday in Riandira village in Mwea Constituency, Jubilee chairman Mureithi Kang’ara stated that many schoolgirls have been impregnated and deserve another chance to proceed with their education. He noted that a few parents were unwilling to take their affected daughters 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 urged chiefs to ensure that all schoolgirls resume studies next week whether their parents like it or not.