RETURN TO SCHOOL

Mlolongo residents warned against child labour

The majority of children from vulnerable families had opted for casual labour in various industries

In Summary

•The entire Mlolongo division has only the two public primary schools and a secondary school despite having a dense population.

•The return to school percentage in Mlolongo division stands at 90 per cent due to the stated challenges alongside teenage pregnancies.

Mlolongo assistant county commissioner Dennis Onganga (Centre) during free facemasks donation at St. Augustine Mlolongo Secondary school on January 13.
Mlolongo assistant county commissioner Dennis Onganga (Centre) during free facemasks donation at St. Augustine Mlolongo Secondary school on January 13.
Image: GEORGE OWITI

Mlolongo assistant county commissioner  Dennis Ongaga has disclosed that some children have not returned to school due to child labour.

He said that had compromised the government’s return-to-school directive in Mlolongo within Machakos county and its environs.

“A majority of children from vulnerable families had opted for casual labour in various industries, construction sites, boda boda sector, among others to fend for their families after schools were closed down early last year following the Covid-19 pandemic‚” Ongaga said.

Speaking on Wednesday during the distribution of free face masks he said 4,806 face masks were donated, raising the number to 7,306 since they had earlier issued donations of 2,500 masks to the three schools. Over 4,000 learners have so far benefited from the free face masks.

The three schools Ngwata primary, Mlolongo primary and St Augustine Secondary School have a total population of approximately 6,000 children.

The entire Mlolongo division has only the two public primary schools and a secondary school despite having a dense population.

“I am issuing a warning to contractors within Mlolongo, who are using school-going children to render services in the sites under cheap labour,” Ongaga said.

He said stern actions will be taken to those using children in child labour as they will be arrested and arraigned in court.

“All children should go back to school. We have assigned chiefs, their assistants, and village elders to ensure parents take children to school. We need 100 per cent return to school for all our students and learners,” Ongaga said.

He said the return to school percentage in Mlolongo division stands at 90 per cent due to the stated challenges alongside teenage pregnancies.

The administrator said the donated masks were those made by the local youths under the ongoing government’s Kazi Mtaani Initiative.

“We came together to see how best we could give back to society. The masks were made in my office. Chiefs, assistant chiefs, youths and myself were all involved to promote education‚” he said.

Ongaga said the beneficiaries were learners from vulnerable backgrounds.

 

Edited by Kiilu Damaris