The Lamu County Education Department has raised the alarm over poor enrolment of boys in schools, saying attention has mainly been on the education of girls.
Lamu County Director of Education Joshua Kaaga said the situation is likely to contribute to increased crime in the region.
Speaking to the Nation in his office, Mr Kaaga said there has been a trend where most of the focus in regard to accessing education has been on girls.
According to Mr Kaaga, the entire Lamu County has very few boys' secondary schools compared to those of girls.
He said it is high time a balance is sought in terms of infrastructural development in schools so that both girls and boys have equal opportunities in education.
“I have observed a trend which affects not only Lamu but the entire country where most education campaigns are concentrated on the girl-child while the boy-child is forgotten. In Lamu, for instance, we only have Mpeketoni and Lamu Boys secondary schools. That means more effort should be made to ensure the boys also have proper amenities for learning. If we continue forgetting the boy-child, particularly in this region, there is a likelihood of increased crime in the coming days,” said Mr Kaaga.
He said serious measures should be taken to encourage boys to stay in school so that education standards across Lamu County can be elevated.
“The education of the girl-child has greatly improved. A huge number of girls now go to school compared to boys. There is, therefore, a need for the same focus to be turned to boys so that all children can have equal opportunities in education,” he said.
Meanwhile, Lamu County Commissioner Irungu Macharia said that children of school-going age found loitering on the streets during school days will be arrested and their parents charged.
Speaking at an education symposium in Lamu town on Wednesday, Mr Macharia asked parents and children in the region to develop a positive attitude towards education.
He said the action will encourage parents and children to take education seriously.
By offering free primary school education, he said, the government was keen to ensure all children get a chance to learn.
“I have instructed enforcement officers to handle cases of failure by parents to send their children to school. I also urge residents here to report any cases of child exploitation to law enforcement agencies for action,” said Mr Macharia.