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Bill to protect pregnant teens before Senate

Students who get pregnant will no longer be kicked out of school if a new Bill is passed by the Senate.

The Bill is designed to keep pregnant girls in school by providing a legal framework to facilitate a smooth transition for the parent student.

The Care and Protection of Child Bill 2016, sponsored by nominated Senator Elizabeth Ongoro, is designed to keep pregnant girls in school by providing a legal framework to facilitate a smooth transition for the parent student.

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The Bill provides that a learner should not be denied her right to education for being expectant.

It also advocates that the girl receives adequate support; from the school, family and government to be able to pursue her dreams.

No forced pregnancy tests

If passed into law, teachers will no longer force teenage students to undergo pregnancy tests and even with irrefutable proof of pregnancy, they will have no right to inform parents or guardians without express permission from the affected girl.

The bill states that "A school principal who defies the proposed law will risk being jailed for three years or a fine of Sh. 3 million, or both."

"Every girl shall have the right to remain in school and receive the necessary support to continue their education and participate fully during their pregnancy or as a parent student", states the bill.

The school administrators will also be required to ensure that such girls study in a conducive environment without harassment.

Stigmatisation

Senator Ongoro said the Bill was necessary in order to prevent stigmatisation in schools owing to pregnancy.

“Most pregnant students were victims of discrimination by fellow students and teachers, a situation she argues has led many to drop out of school. The Bill will sure that the learner will not be forced out of school unless they request to leave of their own will,” she said.

The Bill also further ensures that once the girl gives birth they will be given a year off to look after the baby but must be readmitted once the period lapses.

At home, their parents or guardians will be expected to provide maximum care to ensure that they recuperate faster in order to return to class.

The county government will be required to build and maintain care centers that will take care of the school girl's children.

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