By Enock Okong’o
Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) has decried the high number of girls who have dropped out of school in Transmara West.
The branch KNUT Executive Secretary, Willy Korir called for urgent action from all stakeholders to reverse the situation after more than 50 girls from the area left school and eloped while 81 are expectant.
“This calls for all leaders from the area to convene an urgent meeting to mitigate this crisis,” he said.
Speaking at his Kilgoris office, Korir blamed the Mara Tea and Sugarcane factories’ workers whom he claimed lured the girls.
“A few youth employed as factory labourers escape with the girls during the weekends and end month and host them at the trading centres,” he said.
Some of the centres that act as their hideouts are Nyamaiya, Enosain, Magena, Nkararo and Nyangusu. The most hit area is Mabasi location of Keiyan Division.
He appealed to Chiefs, their assistants and clan elders to convene barazas to curb the practice.
Transmara West Sub County Education Director, Crispin Ogutu attributed the vice to the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) which he said was rampant in the area despite the stringent government policy against it.
He told the parents that the practice induced their daughters into early marriages at the expense of education.
The area Teachers Service Commission (TSC) Director Mr.Kimani concurred with his counterpart and added that FGM impacts the education of the girl child.
Trans Mara West Sub County Commissioner, Isaac Masinde issued a stern warning to perpetrators of the practice who were intending to circumcise their daughters during the December holiday.
The county boss called for the government to hasten the effort of introducing feeding programmes to all public schools and provision of sanitary towels.
Concerning the coming examinations, the officer said that security logistics had been put in place to ensure a conducive exam environment.
Over 33,980 candidates are expected to sit for their KCPE and more than 12,444 for KCSE this year. Male student candidature has outnumbered their female counterparts in both of the examinations. This difference has been attributed by the early pregnancies in the region.
Narok County Examinations Officer, Antoney Makori promised to ensure that expectant candidates complete their exams without difficulties.