Pupils at Kapsokwony Primary School in Mt. Elgon celebrate with Adventure Youth Group Chairman Solomon Kiterie. PHOTO/SIMIYU WAKAJUANESS
As journalists, bloggers and activists ponder on what to pen home on the International African Child day being marked today, a community in Mt Elgon is already embracing the need to empower the African Child through education.
The community, which is known to conduct female circumcision since ‘dem deiz’ is understood to be slowly ditching the archaic traditions and even taking the girl child to school.
Why sampling this analysis, I visited Mt. Elgon on Friday noon and had a series of interviews with teachers, parents and local activist groups around Kapsokwony Primary School if there are any positives detected in the campaign to celebrate the girl child.
School head teacher Mr. Bossis Boit told this editor that a lot of strives have been made with more parents embracing the idea of bringing their children to school for learning.
“Unlike several years ago where only the boys were allowed to school, many parents now bring their daughters to school and they numbers are doing pretty well,” he said.
Mrs. Lilian Komon from the Kiswahili department who is also the Senior teacher also expresses her pride in the shooting figures at schools and credits the community groups and the media for constantly senstising the community on the effects of crooked traditions on the African child.
“With the media being an important tool to the community, it has been easier even for us the teachers to advocate for learning in the community,” she said.
According to the school’s deputy Head teacher Mr. Richard Motei, the institution, established way back in 1939, has 503 boys and 463 girls, an impressive number for the girl child in a community that never valued education for a girl.
However, the teaching staff also faults a few other parents who still practise the vise.
“We are aware that there are those parents who still circumcise their girls and marry them off at an early age. This denies such children a chance to pursue their education ,” complains Ms Linnette Kones, the youngest teacher on the compound.
The school’s board of management chairman highlights that some parents care little about the uniforms of their children and sometimes fail to guide their children complete their home work assignments. This, he says, puts the child in danger of idling and the temptation of hoovering around in the villages which may end them up in the hands of sex predators.
Parents have also been urged to watch over their children back home especially during the holidays seasons.
The church leadership has also been tasked with the role of nourishing the spirituality of the young children both at home and school.
Mr. Solomon Kiterie, the chairman of the popular Adventure Youth Group credits the media and bloggers for sensitising the community to embrace change.
“Bloggers like Wakajuaness and media stations like B.K Radio have helped us manage to reach out to masses of people which has resulted to impressive response from the locals,” he said.
Adventure Youth Group has been vital in running programs that speak against crooked traditional trends like early marriages, FGM as well as negligence again the girl child.
The youth group has organised several charity marathon races as well as wall painting in schools and other institutions.