Residers of Limoro vill, Athwana ward in Tigania West, Meru County have reprobated the high rate of teenage gravidity and academy powerhouse which they associate with harmonious night lookouts by a original church.
Led by the original pastors ’ forum, the residers have written to the authorities calling for a inquiry into the dealings of the church they charge of holding endless night lookouts generally known as ‘ kesha ’.
This has been needed by high academy powerhouse rate, poor academic performance and high number of teen gravidity.
‘ The lookouts at Neema Cornerstone Church in Limoro vill have turned into a ‘ defilement ’ trap where teenagers end up pregnant, accordingly dropping out of academy ’, the residers argue.
READ ALSO: TSC gives fresh hope on P1 teachers with KCSE mean grade C plain
According to the letter seen by the media, residers claim further than 10 girls have dropped out of academy due to gravidity and early marriages.
“ The keshas have redounded in teenage gravidity hence high rate of academy powerhouse ” the letter reads in part.
The residers argue that the endless night lookouts haven’t only caused teen gravidity but also absenteeism and a decline in performance among learners.
“ The denotation is conducting ‘ keshas ’ from Monday to Sunday every week hence performing in poor education norms because pupils have no time to do their schoolwork, absenteeism and they sleep in class ” the letter reads.
READ ALSO: Best top marketable Diploma courses C plain and C minus KCSE students in Kenya
According to Pastor James Kainga of Kenya Assemblies of God, the area pastors ’ forum took up the issue after getting complaints from the community.
“ We engaged the community and the council of elders to find a result before we called in the authorities. The problem has been erecting up for several times. A 16- time-old girl gave birth two weeks ago while a class six girl is pregnant, ” Pastor Kainga said.
Reverend Peter Kithure called for critical intervention from the authorities to constrain the rising teen gravidity.
“ We’re glad that the area Assistant County Commissioner has banned academy going children from attending the night lookouts. still, the authorities should probe and get to the bottom of it. We can not allow the community to go amiss as we watch, ” Rev Kithure said.
READ ALSO: Education Minister Prof Magoha in trouble over his remarks
He said the kick letter written by the pastors was also accompanied by enterprises raised by preceptors.
A schoolteacher verified that cases of absenteeism, dozing off in class and teen gravidity were linked to the diurnal night lookouts.
Meru County has been in the spotlight for a high number of teen gravidity in recent times with about 38 percent of all gravidity being of teenage maters.
According to data from the Kenya Health Information System, further than,000 teen gravidity were recorded in 2021, a slight drop compared to about,500 teenage gravidity in 2020.
The data also indicates a sharp rise in revocations with the number rising from,700 cases recorded in 2020 to 1,000 in 2021.
The high number of teen gravidity has caught the attention of the National Council for Population and Development( NCPD), which is engaging preceptors and parents in Meru County.
According to Ms Victoria Mutiso, the NCPD population fellow in Eastern North region, they’re particularly concerned by the high number of teen gravidity and revocations in Meru.
READ ALSO: Vitamin E capsules can do wonders for your skin and hair. Know 5 ways to use it
“ We’re targeting preceptors and parents so that they can inculcate values in our girls to help the teen gravidity. We want parents to be laboriously involved in covering their children to keep the cases in check. In other counties, we’re using a multisectoral approach involving colorful stakeholders, ” Ms Mutiso said during training for preceptors and parents in Meru city lately.
Meru county health department is also working nearly with directors, religious organisations, elders and the bar to reduce cases of teenage gravidity.
READ ALSO: Magoha orders immediate closure of schools ahead of polls