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Poverty and early pregnancies cited as key challenges for 100% transition in Kajiado

The high levels of poverty in some parts of Kajiado especially Oloitoktok, Mashuuru and Kajiado Central sub counties have contributed to the low transition to secondary schools by students in the area.

According to the transition data for Kajiado County, 161 students who sat the Kenya Certificate Primary Examinations were unaccounted for with Oloitoktok Sub County having the highest number.

Kajiado County Education Director Lukas Kangogo attributes this to high poverty levels within the sub county as the parents mostly depend on livestock sales to cater for school fees and with the current ongoing drought, livestock prices have come down.

Director of Planning in the Ministry of Education Hesbon Momanyi, Kajiado Sub-County Director Lukas Kangogo together with area Assistant County Commissioner during a mop-up exercise in Enkoria, Kajiado

Oloitoktok is also a border point to Tanzania thus many students move in and out of the country either to look for pasture in Tanzania with their parents or even employment for those who do not want to continue with school so tracing them becomes tricky.

On the issue of the 83 girls who could not transit due to early pregnancies, Kangogo says that this should not be a challenge as the girls could continue with their studies once they give birth and their children reach six months of age.

“Many parents are also negligent of their children wellbeing especially girls who get early pregnancies. Their education is cut off which is not right as the girl still has a right to education regardless of the circumstances,” said Kangogo.

The main challenge however remains when the girl gives birth twice before completing primary school and the mother does not want to babysit the second baby fearing that the girl would get a third pregnancy and the father opts to marry her off.

On this, Kangogo urges the parents to continue schooling their daughters even in cases of early pregnancy as pregnancy does not take away their right to education.

A parent, Mariah Maraso whose daughter was sponsored by the government to Sajiloni Girls secondary school says that she lacked school fees to enroll her as she is paying school fees for two other students in secondary level and her meagre income from milk sales could not sustain the three of them.

She was grateful for the government’s support and wants the government to support her daughter up to University level as she has no adequate means of catering for her school fees.

According to the report, 83 students opted to repeat class eight due to low marks obtained in the national examinations.

74 learners enrolled in the Technical and Vocational Education Training colleges within the county while five sought employment.

Kajiado County Commissioner Joshua Nkanatha has urged school heads not to send away day school learners who have not cleared the whole fee as the government is keen on providing them with school uniforms and school fees.

However, infrastructure is a big challenge to the 100% transition in Kajiado as it remains the same while the learner population has increased.

“We are forced to congest students in the available classrooms and maximize all available spaces including dining halls and parking areas so as to cater for the high number of learners,” said Kangogo

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