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Kisumu — Teenage pregnancies and child labor have been identified as major impediments to the government’s 100% secondary school transition programme in Kisumu County.
Over 10, 000 children spread across the seven sub-counties were yet to report raising concerns amongst stakeholders.
Kisumu County Director of Education Peter Munene said out of the 31, 303 candidates who sat for the 2021 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education in the area, only 20, 804 have reported so far.
He attributed the poor turnout to rising cases of child labour where some of the children have ventured into boda boda business and other income generating activities to fend for themselves and their siblings.
“I am worried about this emerging trend. A good number of them have joined the boda boda business but as stakeholders, we are working hard to make sure that they go back to school,” he said.
Cases of teenage pregnancies which skyrocketed during the Covid-19 lockdown period, he added, have also affected the turnout for girls in the area.
Munene said a multi-agency team comprising of education officials, chiefs and assistant chiefs and Non-Governmental Organizations has been constituted to mop up the remaining children and ensure they reported to school.
“Even though we have tight guidelines to finalize the reporting, we have opened the window to allow those who are yet to report to do so,” he said.
He added that lack of school fees has equally affected the programme urging parents to request for bursaries from the county government and Constituency Development Fund.
He urged secondary school heads in the area not to be too rigid but listen to the plight of parents who present children to the various schools and admit them.
“I call upon the management of schools to ensure that no child is locked out due to lack of space or school fees but rather to find alternative ways of handling the cases,” he said. – Kna