The Population Council is designing, implementing, and evaluating a program in Kenya to help teenage mothers return to school. The Council has partnered with Radio Lake Victoria on the project referred to as, “Ting‘ Nyako malo” meaning uplift the girl child. The partnership is geared towards bringing of awareness and to curb the vice of teenage pregnancies, to those residing in South Nyanza. The region has been battling with high cases of teenage pregnancies.
Despite a policy that allows teenage mothers to return to school, the region has a high female school dropout rate. Past research in the region has highlighted three main hurdles:
- School personnel lack clarity about the re-entry policy
- Teenage mothers, their parents, and their communities are unaware of the rights of teen mothers to return to school
- Ministries of Education have neglected to monitor the school re-entry of teen mothers.
Our radio station airs the ‘ting nyako malo’ show every Wednesday and Sunday at 7.30pm. Last week we toured the Nyanza region to preach on the importance of education to everyone including the teenage mothers. This project aims to increase the awareness and willingness of schools in the South Nyanza region to implement Kenya’s ‘return-to-school’ or school re-entry policy. Schools should be more likely to accept teen mothers as students, and the parents of teen mothers should be more likely to support their return to school.