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November 14, 2018

Early marriages, pregnancies force students to skip exams in Kajiado

Invigilators frisk students at Namanga Girls Secondary during the KCSE exams on November 7. /KURGAT MARINDANY
Invigilators frisk students at Namanga Girls Secondary during the KCSE exams on November 7. /KURGAT MARINDANY

Most KCPE and KCSE students failed to sit for their exams in Kajiado County because of early marriages and pregnancies, Kajiado county commissioner David Kipkemei has said.

The commissioner said 254 (55 KCSE and 199 KCPE) candidates failed to show up for exams in the county.

"We are investigating the matter to establish exactly what happened. I suspect most of them were married off before the exams or were impregnated and felt ashamed to come and sit for their papers," the commissioner said.

Read: KCSE pregnancies: 72 expectant, 38 new moms in Kitui

Kipkemei said the situation was saddening for a county that is struggling to improve the education system and fight traditional practices which hinder the progress of the girl child.

He said more than 75 per cent of those who failed to sit for this year’s national examinations were girls.

He appealed to professionals, churches and other stakeholders to join hands with the government to fight early marriages and female genital mutilation among children.

"The government alone, without the goodwill of the residents, cannot end such practices. We need everyone to come on board and stand with us," Kipkemei said.

His sentiments were echoed by the county director of education; Shamsa Adan who said pregnancy rates among school girls in Kajiado could be among the highest in the country.

“Pregnancies among school-going girls in Kajioado are alarming especially in the interior areas of Loitokitok, Mashuuru and Kajiado West,” she said.

Read also: Alarm as Kitui reports 110 pregnancy cases during KCSE exams

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