Family breakups blamed for high school drop-out rate
20 June 2016, 18:36
Nairobi - Poverty and instability within a family have been cited as some of the factors leading to child labor in miraa growing zones, an NGO has revealed.
Children are forced to abandon schooling to engage in petty jobs on miraa farms for survival.
According to Zoe Kenya, an organization that supports orphans and vulnerable children, family breakups has rendered children to hopelessness.
Chief Program Officer, Reagan Kaberia said cases of boy child neglect have been on the rise in Meru County where the organization is supporting about 10,000 orphaned children.
Kaberia, while speaking to journalists in Nanyuki town, said some children are driven into plucking of miraa once their parents separate leaving them to fend for themselves.
“Our community’s patriarchal culture holds that children belong to the father thus in many cases of separation the mother abandons her children to her husband whenever their marriage goes sour. The other woman the man marries in most cases refuses to regard the children as her own hence separating them from their father,” he explained.
He adds that in some cases mothers prefer walking out with their daughters leaving behind their sons who end up lacking a role model adding that the future of the boy child seems to be getting worse.
“The number of boys in the streets is higher than those of girls with majority complaining of parental negligence for their predicaments,” said the program officer.
He appealed for other partners to ensure balance in their child support program fearing for the future of the boy child whom the society believes can thrive on their own, underscoring the value of motherly care up to the age of 13 years.
“As an organization we have come up with mentorship programs where we invite successful men to talk to boys who have dropped out of school to become successful despite odds,” he stated.
He noted that girls did 70 percent better than their male counterparts during the mentorship programs hence the need to intensify focus on the boy child.
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