Increasing cases of teenage pregnancies and early marriages in Baringo county is a major challenge to the girl child education. One of the affected schools is Nginyang High School in Tiaty constituency, where 16 girls are currently pregnant, 5 of whom are candidates awaiting the national examination.
In a school that has a population of at least 100 girls, having approximately 10 of them drop out of school every year due to early pregnancies has become a worrying trend.
According to the school principal Jane Birgen, the unprecedented numbers are attributable to retrogressive cultural practices encouraged by the very parents of the girls. Birgen says that some students are actually wives during school holidays as their parents have already married them off.
The school principal also says, female genital mutilation is another challenge the school has had to deal with. These deeply rooted cultural practices are threatening the girl child education in Baringo County, despite concerted efforts by the county government to promote education.
33 girls have so far become mothers and quit school in just 3 years, a trend that only seems to be getting worse by the day.