Monday, July 15, 2024

Kericho Woman Rep. tables bill seeking to protect teen mothers

Kericho Woman Representative Beatrice Kemei has on Tuesday tabled a bill before Parliament that seeks to protect teen mothers right to education.

In the bill, Ms. Kemei proposes that pregnancy tests are not made mandatory at school and if they undergo the tests, the school heads can decided whether or not to disclose the results to their parents.

According to the MP, school heads should only reveal the results to the parents when they are sure that it will not put the pupil in danger. She continued by saying that mandatory tests conducted at school only create stigma to the students.

“More often than not they expel these children who are discovered to be pregnant; such children are also exposed to ridicule and harassment and are often cited as examples of bad behaviour, leading them to drop out of school,” she said

The bill also proposes that teen mothers should be allowed back to school without any discriminations and that school heads who block them or expel them should be subjected to hefty fines or a jail term as punishment.

“Clause 20 makes it an offense for the school administration to refuse to re-admit a child once they have given birth. The school principal and every member of the school administration may be fined Ksh.500,000 or jailed for six months or both,” she said

Ms. Kemei noted that not only should the young mothers be allowed back to school but also granted support to access healthcare facilities. The MP continued by saying that denying them education and support only exposes them to early marriages.

“This does not only impact their right to go school but also subjects them to early marriages and exploitative labour practices as they fend for themselves and their children.” she said

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