Nakuru — At least 140 girls in primary schools and 108 others in secondary schools in Narok County sitting for their national examination this year are pregnant.
Narok County Commissioner Isaac Masinde said the girls would be watched closely during the entire period so that they could be assisted where necessary.
He asked all the pregnant girls not to shy off from doing the national examination despite their condition adding that even those who would go into labor during the exam period would sit for the exams in hospital.
“We want all the candidates to be treated equally so that they can sit comfortably for the national exams. No child should feel disadvantaged because of their condition,” he told KNA.
Masinde said a total of 741 school going children are pregnant in the county with 332 being in primary and 409 in secondary schools.
Narok South Sub County has the highest number of pregnant girls at 149 followed by Narok Central at 140 while Narok West Sub County has 124 girls pregnant.
The high number of pregnancies is attributed to retrogressive cultural practices like Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and teenage marriages.
He called upon the parents and guardians to take parental responsibility of guiding their children during the holiday seasons so that they do not engage in sex at an early age.
“The parents should take enough time with their children to understand them and encourage them to work in school. They should act as role models to them and guide them whenever they suspect they are moving in the wrong direction,” he said.
During this year’s national examination, 36, 782 pupils in grade six, 33, 980 in class eight and 12, 444 students in secondary school will be sitting for this year’s national examination in the County.
Already, 66 people have been remanded while 90 other people have been convicted by the courts for defilement in the county.
In the year 2014, Narok County was named by the Kenya Health Demographic Survey as the leading county with teenage pregnancy at 40 per cent against the national average of 18 per cent. – kna