Education Stakeholders Push for School Re-Entry Programme for Teen Mothers and Teen Boys

The Forum for African Women Educationalists Kenya (FAWEK), in collaboration with stakeholders from Kajiado County, is leading a discussion on how to ensure that all teen mothers and teen males return to school, as recommended by the school re-entry policy. 

In response to the COVID-19 virus outbreak in Kenya in March 2020, FAWE, Kenya Chapter, initiated the Imarisha Msichana program in 20 counties, including Kajiado, with the aim of promoting girls’ education and eliminating teen pregnancy.

They have promoted girls’ education and trained numerous stakeholders as part of the plan.

FAWE Kajiado County Coordinator Nelly Naserian stated that FAWE plays an important part in school re-entry policy by ensuring that all stakeholders are adequately informed about the policy and that all teen girls and teen mothers receive education. 

Naserian revealed that they have initiated efforts to support education by advocating for teen mothers’ re-entry into school.

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They held a multi-stakeholder meeting involving various ministries to discuss and disseminate their re-entry policy through the Ministry of Education.

This initiative aims to facilitate the return of teen mothers and other out-of-school children to the educational system.

During the engagement, FAWE and stakeholders from the Ministry of Education, Gender, Health, and Security Departments, along with community elders, agreed that all departments needed to collaborate on a school re-entry program to achieve zero school teen dropouts and zero teen pregnancies.

Catherine Mutinda, Gender Director of Kajiado County, urged all stakeholders to make an effort to educate teens. 

Mutinda emphasized that achieving the goal of reducing teen pregnancies and school dropout cases to zero requires collective efforts from multiple departments and stakeholders.

He stressed the importance of collaboration, urging everyone to contribute their efforts and involve stakeholders from every community. Mutinda highlighted the necessity of unity and teamwork to address these challenges effectively.

During the conversation, the stakeholders agreed to include teen boys in the school re-entry program to avoid the perception that a boy child was left behind. 

Kajiado CECM Gender Janet Sereu stated that their discussion aimed to identify the fundamental cause of school dropout among teens and teen pregnancies in the county. 

Sereu revealed that there are ongoing discussions and collaborative efforts aimed at facilitating the return of both boys and girls to school.

The focus lies on analyzing the factors contributing to the high school dropout rates among teenagers, particularly girls, as well as addressing the prevalent issue of teenage pregnancy in rural areas of Kajiado.

He emphasized the need to find solutions to minimize the dropout rate and reduce teen pregnancy. Sereu stated that this is just the beginning of their efforts, and that they will persist in working together until they achieve zero teen pregnancy and school dropout rates in Kajiado. 

The county has taken steps to ensure that teen mothers continue their education, including the establishment of a center in Kajiado where they can feel protected and care for their newborns.

According to Mourine Maya, Senior Assistant Chief for the Osoni sub-location, the center provides a safe environment for teen mothers who are unable to care for themselves. 

Maya revealed that they have a facility in Kitengela that accommodates the children of teen mothers who are unable to care for themselves. These mothers are provided with an opportunity to breastfeed their infants until they reach six months of age.

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After this period, the child remains in the center while the mother continues her education. Maya went on to explain that the center makes efforts to reunite the child with their parents after approximately two years.

This may involve visitation arrangements at the center or reintegrating the child back into the family home. 

Kajiado County, in collaboration with FAWEK, aims to educate communities on the necessity of enrolling their children back in school even after they have dropped out, as the government’s re-entry policy mandates that all students should return to school, continue their education, and graduate. 

Education Stakeholders Push for School Re-Entry Programme for Teen Mothers and Teen Boys.

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