The Ministry of Education has directed secondary school heads to enhance support services to help young mothers selected to their schools to enroll and focus on learning.
Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed said the ‘re-entry policy’ must guide school principals and headteachers to admit, accommodate and support returning students.
Last year, Ms Mohamed directed Education officials in all counties to map out the Standard Eight candidates who became mothers before national exams and make special arrangements for them to join Form One.
“This data is now available and special focus will be paid to these young mothers,” said the CS.
She expressed disappointment over low enrolment of Form One students in six counties and launched a campaign to have 130,000 students who are yet to report to school enroll.
Ms Mohamed identified the counties ad Mombasa, Lamu, Kwale, Samburu, Isiolo and Tana River. The counties’ enrolment rate is below 70 percent.
“This low enrolment rate is unacceptable at this point in the transition process. These ‘special’ counties will therefore be the ministry’s point of first intensive focus,” said Ms Mohamed.
She said a rapid analysis of the reasons for the failure to hit the 100 per cent admission mark shows that there have been challenges arising from teenage pregnancies, early marriages, insecurity, inhibitive cultural practices, indirect costs of secondary education and extreme poverty in households, especially in arid and semi-arid areas.
She said the ministry has prepared data packets bearing actual names and location of the students yet to report.
“We shall leave no child behind. This data will be shared with local administrators who will team up with Directors from the Ministry in this final push,” said Ms Mohamed who was accompanied by PS Belio Kipsang at Arya Girls High School in Nairobi.
The CS said the Ministry has realised an 87 per cent Form One reporting rate which means that 895,987 students have now fully enrolled into Form One.
“Although this enrolment is seven percentage points better than last year, the Ministry is determined to do all everything possible to realise 100 per cent transition,’ said the CS.
Data indicate that Murang’a County has the highest transition rate of 97 per cent.
Majority of the Counties, have recorded transition rates above 80percent.
She said from the current NEMIS data, 640 candidates have opted to repeat class eight while 2,299 have joined vocational colleges.