Cases of schoolgirls dropping out of school due to pregnancy are currently alarming in Kenya. Most of these cases are found in the rural areas and teachers are the suspects.
The same has been in the news for years and was also in yesterday’s news by both KTN and NTV. They showed girls from a school read more in Garsen, Tana River district who are now at home taking care of their babies. In another incident a girl was slashed with a Panga (metal rod) by his father in Western Kenya for getting impregnated by a teacher. In some cases parents give their daughters who get impregnated by teachers for marriage in exchange of some dowry.
This has become a major hindrance to girls education and the development of female human resource has come down.
Parents send their children to school (girls inclusive) so that when they are old the children may take care of them. At the same time schooling is viewed as an investment in that the educated persons are expected to uplift the economic life of the parents and other brothers/sisters in the family. The decision to take that girl to school had an objective and an expectation from the parents that no one should come to spoil.
I normally wonder what drives the male teachers to get intimate with female pupils that should be under their care. There are many theories and justification that have been put to this men behavior, but all of them are wrong.
Poverty in the rural areas plays a major role in girls dropping out of school. From the story on the link above, they say the school is an old school but the structure is in a bad shape. Most homes where these girls come from are not any better. So when a teacher who leaves in a better condition approaches a girl from a poverty stricken home they get tempted and accept thinking of a better life ahead is beckoning. But the one to be blamed is the teacher who uses his position and wealth to “terminate” the economic life of such girls.
I also imagine a teacher who has been transferred from a town or Nairobi with better infrastructure, moving to a school in a remote area and living his family behind not to subject them in such a condition. The teacher gets tempted to sleep with schoolgirls because this could be the only girls available in the area, the rest are married off early.
I think the government should investigate why this is happening; arresting the teachers over the years has not solved the problem.