School Girls in the Coast have been cautioned against friends whose suspect behaviours could hinder their academic performance.
Addressing Ribe Girls Secondary School, Kaloleni in Kilifi County during the School’s Prize Giving and Prayer Day, Prof. Mabel Imbuga, Vice Chancellor, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, asked the students to be cautious of their peers who are out to lure them into vices such as drug addiction, sexual immorality that lead to early pregnancies, as well as radicalization. This, she said, could shatter their dreams.
Prof Imbuga decried the rampant cases of teenage pregnancies in Kilifi County which had become an issue of serious concern to stakeholders with statistics by the National Council for Population Development (NCPD) in Kilifi indicating that one in every four girls get pregnant before the age of 19 years.
According to the report, Prof. Imbuga further pointed out that 22 percent of the girls between the age of 15 and 19 are either pregnant or have given birth. The report further indicated that 6 cases of defilement were reported daily or even more. She said this was attributed to among others, the escalating disco matangas and pambios that seem to have taken centre-stage during funerals.
Prof. Imbuga noted that the situation was even getting worse now especially with the advent of the bodaboda business where the operators, teachers, cultural beliefs and unbelievably, some relatives, were actively contributing to such disheartening causes of early marriages and pregnancies leading to girls dropping out of schools.
She however encouraged the girls to strive and perform well in their academics so as to become dependable members of their families, despite the many challenges they faced.
The Vice Chancellor who was accompanied by the University’s Head of Corporate Communications, Dr. Hindzano Ngonyo, challenged young women scholars to abandon the myth that their rightful place was in the kitchen and urged them to wake up to the realities of today.
She said JKUAT recognized the role played by women and a number of them had been appointed to senior management positions adding further that the institution was keen to mentor young girls.
Prof. Imbuga who also donated text books worth Kshs 150,000 to the school, urged students to make good choices in life that would assist them achieve their dreams. She promised to donate two Taifa laptops to the school, and 100 Tissue Culture seedlings to the students to start a school garden. The Vice Chancellor gave a personal token to the girls who scored Grade “B” and above in last year’s KCSE examination and pledged to honour the best performing girls during the next KCSE exams. She accepted to be an alumnus of the school.
The School’s Board of Management Chairperson Prof. Florence Lenga promised to advance the agenda of the school to attract students nationally to join the school. She thanked the outgoing Board of Management for their contribution towards the school’s development.
In her remarks, the Principal of the School Mrs. Florence Chondo urged well-wishers to help put up a perimeter wall to enhance the security of the girls at the school and further commended her students for being disciplined. Ribe Girls Secondary School is a County Government school with a total of 700 students and 35 teachers.
Also present was the Parents and Teachers Association (PTA) Chairman Mr. Ernest Tsori, among others.