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Friday, October 21, 2011

180 Students Saved From Dropping Out in Narok

October 20, 2011
Nairobi Star
Kiplang'at Kiriu

More than 180 pupils have sought refuge at a primary school in Narok South after escaping early marriage and female genital mutilation.

The 122 girls and 58 boys are sheltered at Naikarra Boarding Primary school on the outskirts of Maasai Mara Game Reserve, after they defied their parents plans for them to drop out of school to be married and look after the cattle.

Head teacher Loontubu Koileken told the press yesterday that the children from different areas sought to come to his school which offers boarding facilities. "The children decided to seek refuge in our school after they knew their parents had already engaged in marriage negotiations," said Loontubu. He said some parents raided the school and demanded to take their children back home.

Loontubu, who is also chairman of Maasai Mara Head Teachers Support Group, said the region has been hit by such incidents with casualties being the school girls who are married off. "The girl child education is greatly affected in the region as most of them are being forced to undergo FGM practice and early marriage," said Loontubu.

He said that his school is now like a rescue centre which receives children who have run away from their homes for the fear of FGM, early marriage and herding cattle. "When the children seek refuge in my school, I admit them and they start their learning and they are now comfortable with their education," he said.

To read the full article on the Nairobi Star website, click here