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Early marriages, pregnancies force students to skip exams in Kajiado

Candidates in exam room

 

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 revealed.

According to the Commissioner at least 55 candidates have so far failed to turn up for their Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations in Kajiado County.

Another 199 students also failed to sit their Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) with 75 per cent being girls. The main cause being attributed to early marriages.

“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.

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.

The commissioner has called on political leaders, professionals and church leaders to spearhead the war against early marriages and female genital mutilation.

“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.

Although several individuals have already been arrested in connection with early marriages, the county commissioner insisted that he is committed to ensure that all perpetrators are brought to book.

” I will be very harsh to the individuals that are still practising this outdated norms including those that have escaped and are seeking refuge in the neighbouring country Tanzania because, after all they will still come back,” Kipkemei affirmed.

Kipkemei expressed concern saying that the menace has continued to cloud the future of many girls in the county.