Three Nairobi residents want the government to consider giving special national examinations to pregnant and new teen mothers.
Peter Solomon Gichira, Faith Nuru and Miriam Mutua have sued the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec), the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD), the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed and the Attorney General.
In the case documents filed at the High Court, they argued that when the CS called for an audit on increased teenage pregnancies, she was only reacting to the current crisis yet this is a matter which has been occurring every year.
They argued that in all matters concerning the girl child, her best interests are of paramount importance and that it is certainly not in the best interests of a candidate who has just delivered to immediately sit a national examination.
They alleged that it would be better to allow new student mothers’ sufficient time to recuperate in the safety of her family and breastfeed the baby and then sit for the national examination when they are in the right frame of mind.
According to Ms Mutua, new mothers experience difficulties and effects of childbirth hence subjecting them to sit for national exams puts their mental health in great danger.
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) reported that adolescent and teenage pregnancies of girls aged 10-19 years from July 2016- June 2017 as 378,397.
The data showed a prevalence rate of 40 percent in Narok, 33 in Homabay, 29 in West Pokot and 28 in Tana River as well Nyamira counties.
The Children Affairs department in Kilifi has also reported 13,624 cases of teen pregnancies in the past one year.
The trio therefore want the court to compel the education Cs to allow the setting of supplementary examinations for pregnant candidates, those who deliver three months to the said exams or during the exams as well as those bereaved in the course of sitting for these national test.
They also want KICD ordered to develop approve and implement a comprehensive sexual and reproductive health programme in the current curriculums of both primary and secondary schools.
They further want it declared that it is unconstitutional to allow pregnant candidates, those who deliver during the said exams and the bereaved ones to sit for KCPE as well as KCSE during the regular exam period.
They want counselling services be done to pregnant students as well as new student mothers.