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Child labour, poverty linked to poor education

15 March 2013, 13:00 Mwangi Karanja

Child labour and poverty have been attributed to decline in education standards in Trans Nzoia county.

Addressing the media on Friday at his office in Kitale, Kenya secondary school heads Association Trans Nzoia County chairperson Bernard Lukuya said that the county has the potential to produce the best student’s nationally, but poverty and child labour have been pulling behind stakeholders' efforts.

He reiterated that many students come from poor background and are forced to help their parents raise school fees by working in the maize plantations.

“During planting season, the number of students attending classes is very low because they are away helping their parents,” he said.

He also noted that the situation has affected their performance immensely.

He said that many parents and guardians have failed to pay school fees for their children on time thus affecting the daily running of schools.

“We are forced to send students home most of the time due to huge arrears and this is a problem affecting most schools in the county. Maost of them take more than a month to resume their studies hence affecting their performance,” he added.

He urged the county's new leaders to bring to task those who are responsible for employing underage children in maize plantations saying that the future of many youths would be flattened if the menace continues.

Earlier, the Trans Nzoia county director of education Joseph Wamocho had warned school heads and management in the county that have been hiking school fees by adding additional levies to desist.

“We would not allow parents to be added extra load as many of them are poor and are not even able to pay half of it; all levies should be confirmed by ministry of education,” he cautioned.

Lukuya applauded schools in the county for their exemplary performance.

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