The Kenya National Union of Teachers [Knut] has challenged parents in the North Rift region to take parental responsibility seriously to curb rising cases of teenage pregnancy in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic after schools were shut down.
KNUT National Executive member representing Rift Valley Martin Sembelo said many girls in the region have been impregnated and sexually abused as the pandemic rages on.
Sembelo attributed poor parenting to the rising cases of teenage pregnancies, with parents in urban centers sending their children to their grandparents in the villages as they remained in the cities.
Sembelo pointed out that following the upsurge of Coronavirus cases in the country, it is not clear when the schools will be reopened.
“As things stand by we don’t know when the schools will reopen. Education CS Prof George Magoha is moving around to ascertain the situation. Even the President might postpone till next year,” he said.
Speaking at Lityei village, Sembelo called on religious leaders and local administrators like chiefs and their assistants to look after children.
“Many are moving around aimlessly. Others playing pool while others doing businesses in towns. That is not the role of parents because this can expose them to drugs,” he said.
He cited that teachers did their role at school by taking care of young girls and it is now the responsibility of parents to do the same.
Sembelo who is also the West Pokot KNUT executive Secretary attributed the challenge to parents adding that it seems ideal parenting no longer exists. “Parents have failed in their parenting responsibility, both in educating their children and in defending them. They will now appreciate the role of the teachers, who constantly counsel these girls and safeguard them from vicious predators,” he said.
He called on law enforcers to defend the minors adding that those who have impregnated them should face the law according to the constitution.
Sembelo urged parents to strive to bring up their children in a Christian manner by encouraging them to be prayerful and to read the Bible noting that by doing so, the children learn morals, know how to control themselves, and understand what God is telling them. “You should know the environment of your children because it will tell you who and how your child is,” added Sembelo.
He said that the alarming numbers of teenage pregnancies in the region ring a bell that the government needs to do something about the reopening of schools since its where children are protected against sex predators.