A school principal at Chelebei Secondary School in Bungoma county, Kenya who expelled 20 pregnant girls has been ordered by the county director of education, Charles Anyika to readmit the school girls, Standard Media reports.

Anyika reportedly said the school principal acted against the law and the school girls should be readmitted forthwith.

The incident brings to fore the debate on whether pregnant schoolgirls should be allowed to stay in school, with compelling arguments made emphasizing the girls’ right to education. Critics of the re-entry rule have previously argued that the re-admission of pregnant girls sends a wrong message to other pupils and is seen as an encouragement.

The issue is tied to and also raises another controversial topic on the distribution of condoms and access to other contraceptive methods in schools.

While educators in various countries across the continent have long argued that schools should adopt a pro-abstinence and pro-values approach, with the prevalence of HIV/Aids and incidences of teenage pregnancies, some policy makers in countries such as South Africa and Zimbabwe have mooted the idea that condoms should be distributed in schools to deal with these issues.

As the debate on the re-admission of schoolgirl rages on, the case in Kenya highlights the need for a clear policy on how schools should act to help pregnant girls and ensure that the pupils complete school.

Source: Standard Media