Various leaders from Busia County have decried increasing cases of school going girls getting pregnant, a vice they have warned threatens education standards in the County.
Nominated MCA Cynthia Mutere, Anjela Nafula and Halima Hussein have termed the situation a disaster which has to be checked before it gets out of hand, “This issue is becoming serious. Everywhere you go you meet pregnant school girls. The other day we were in a school in Butula where seventeen girls were pregnant, at Otimong’ secondary we are being told forty students are pregnant, in another school in Teso we are told four students are pregnant. In my sub county of Bunyala I cannot even say because it is even worse.”
Mutere and Ang’orom ward Member of County Assembly James Ong’ole has blamed 100% primary to secondary school transition policy by the national government, funeral night dances popularly known as disco matanga and girl students walking long distances to and from school as the main causes of the pregnancies, “The government came up with a policy where all pupils who finish primary school have to join form one whether they have failed or passed. And in secondary school teachers are told to allow even pregnant or girls who have given birth to be in school. So you find a girl who has been impregnated by a boda boda being taken to school in the morning by the same boda boda, they drop the child at her mother’s place, go to school and in the evening she is picked from school by the boda boda who is now her husband, picks the child from her mother and goes home. Surely what kind of schools shall we have after ten years?” posed Mutere.
According to Ong’ole, disco matangas have greatly increased the cases, “Yes disco matanga dances are still in this area despite efforts we have made with the police to tame them. Secondly, these students need small bicycles so that they ride to and from school. Students who walk to school especially girls are tempted to ask for favors from boda boda riders and in the process the riders ask their names, their phone numbers and they lure them into having unprotected sex which results in the unwanted pregnancies.”
Speaking at St. Ann Ang’orom Girls secondary school during a harambee drive to help build more classrooms and hostels, the leaders joined hands with Busia County woman representative Florence Mutua, Busia County First Lady Judy Onamu Ojaamong, Finance CEC Phaustine Barasa and Ford Kenya Busia County chairperson Immanuel Osore to call on parents to be vigilant and advise their children against engaging in early sex, “Parents you have really failed in your parental duties. Please help us to curb these vises by guiding your children and tell them to know the importance of education. Before you sleep ensure your daughter is in the house and don’t let them roam around the village.”
They also encouraged girls to avoid engaging in early sex and instead concentrate on their studies, “There are many opportunities in this country for the girl child but these opportunities are for those who have qualifications and not just anybody.”
Mutua added, “Let us not blame disco matangas, let us not blame boda bodas, let us not blame anybody. They only solution to this problem is for our girls to ‘put their legs together’. Put those legs together and concentrate on books. I want to urge you to fall in love with books and not boys who will only ruin your life and dump you.”