Controversial singer Esther Akoth popularly known by her stage name as Akothee has come to the defence of thousands of school-going girls who are dismissed from schools for being pregnant.
In a message she shared on her Instagram page, the Lotto hitmaker says pregnant school girls should be allowed to continue with their studies unless their health warrants them to be out of school.
“And I think all girls who get pregnant while in school should not be sent home. They should be allowed to continue with education unless their health proves otherwise,” she said.
Akothee adds that pregnancy should not be perceived as a disease given that it is a temporary situation.
“Pregnancy is not a disease, it’s a temporary discomfort that comes with a huge blessing,” she added before posing; “what do you think?”
According to Global Childhood Report 2019, Kenya has the third-highest rate of teen pregnancies in East Africa.
While announcing the 2020 KCPE results, Education CS announced that about 3,500 primary school girls were found to be pregnant. 200 of them sat for KCPE exams.
On the other hand, 652 pregnant girls sat for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE).
Data obtained from the Ministry of Education portal from 26 counties in Western, Rift Valley and Eastern regions shows that during the lockdown period occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic, at least 17,000 girls in both primary and secondary schools became pregnant.
The majority of these school-going children are forced into marriage due to stigma and inability to juggle between parenthood and their academic responsibilities.
Perhaps it’s time that a national conversation on the matter is put in place to ensure that these young girls pursue education for the sake of their future.