The journey to create a framework for the care and protection of pregnant children and child parents has kicked off courtesy of a Bill sponsored by the Nominated Senator Miraj Abdillahi.
The Bill aims at protecting the rights of pregnant children and additionally ensuring that needy child parents and their caretakers receive assistance from the National and County Governments so as to enable them return to school after delivering.
Sen. Miraj argues that despite earlier interventions by authorities to address challenges that pregnant children and child parents go through, no significant results have been recorded.
“Although the Ministry of Education formulated the National Guidelines for School Re-Entry in Early Learning and Basic Education in 2020, the problem still persists, hence the need to ensure collaboration of the National Government and County Governments in protecting such children and ensuring that there are structures supporting them to continue with their education,” submitted Sen. Miraj.
“In some instances, the school where the child was attending refuses to readmit the child thus denying them the opportunity to complete their basic education, stigma from the society and other learners while in other instances, the expectant children come from needy families and have to drop out of school so as to take care of their children once they give birth,” explained the Lawmaker.
If passed into law the Bill will compel the National and County Governments to put mechanisms in place and establish programmes that will ensure teenage parents are protected and taken care of while at the same time ensuring that the rising cases of teenage pregnancies and the dropping out of school by teenage parents is curbed.
It will create a framework for the establishment of care centres which will provide facilities for the care of children born to child parents and who would wish to resume with their studies but have no person to take care of their child.
To ensure credibility, the Bill gives the County Governments an obligation to establish care centres and sets out the standards that a County Government or any other person who intends to establish the centres is required to meet besides providing for the procedure of registration, licensing, monitoring and inspection of the centres.
Further, the Bill elaborates the services to be provided by the care centres giving guidelines on inspection to ensure the health and safety of children in the centres.