NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 22- FIDA-Kenya has castigated Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha for his recent remarks that female students should not agree to teachers’ advances in a bid to reduce teen pregnancies in schools.
In a statement, FIDA Chairperson Nancy Ikinu said teachers’ advances towards students are categorized as defilement and indecent acts under the Sexual Offences Act and it is the duty of the Ministry to ensure students are protected from sexual predators and keep the learning environment safe.
“We would like to remind the CS Prof. Magoha that school students are children and it is the duty of the state to protect them from sexual predators and to keep the learning environment safe. FIDA-Kenya notes that it is the Ministry’s responsibility, working with the National Assembly and other stakeholders, to develop and strengthen laws and policies, to increase access to justice, health, education, and social services that help protect children and to enhance access to justice to sexual violence victims,” she stated.
She pointed out that such teachers should be severely punished and serve as examples to other violators.
“These children are victims and have a right to full protection while the perpetrators should face the full wrath of the law. Several laws, including the Children’s Act and the Sexual Offences Act, criminalize sexual engagement with children under the age of 18, and in 2010, the Teachers Service Commission issued guidelines designed to protect children from sexual abuse in schools.
FIDA was responding to remarks by Magoha last week when he commented on the high number of pregnant Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examinations (KCSE) students.
Data from Kenya Data and Health Survey (2014) showed that 1 in every 5 girls between 15-19 years is either pregnant or already a mother.
Concurrently, over 13,000 teenage girls drop out of school annually because of pregnancy.
Recent data from the Ministry of Education reports show that over 500 girls fail to sit for their final examinations while others write examinations in maternity wards.