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Build a girl's rescue centre, urges Mt Elgon DEO

14 June 2013, 18:21 Arap Yego

A girl’s only boarding school and rescue centre should be opened at Cheptais in Mt Elgon, area District Education Officer (DEO) Jacob Wanyama has said.

Speaking Thursday in Chepkurkur Primary school that has hit headlines after 18 girls reportedly fell pregnant, Wanyama said this is the only way to ensure the girl child in the region is safe and has access to quality education.

The DEO said that local leaders, educational stakeholders and members of the community need to work together to build up the centers, as the problems affecting the girl child in the region need to be tackled from all angles.

school, primary school pupils

He admitted that though the parents of the girls have not been cooperative and open to report pregnancy cases, it is a big problem in the district.

“The cases not only happen in this single school; they also occur in other schools. A boarding school and rescue centre will come in handy to assist the girls,’’ said Wanyama.

Cheptais District Education Quality Assurance and Standards Officer (DEQASO) Gladys Karanja said that parents and the local community have been a major stumbling block in dealing with the cases.

She said they seldom give information to the relevant authorities for action to be taken against the culprits and even at times protect the offenders.

“We have found cases where parents go out of the way to protect the offenders by inflating the ages of their minor girls to be over 18 when we chance upon them. We can do nothing at all in such cases,” lamented Karanja.

She added that the school is seriously understaffed and needs more teachers, especially female teachers. She noted that the school with a population over 300 girls and only one female teacher needed additional staff.

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