By Ronald Ngoba
Parents and caregivers should take charge of children under their care through monitoring their movements and activities during this long schools’ break in Kilifi County.
Witness Tsuma, speaking in Kilifi town during a Women forum at Kibaoni Social Hall, says children have more access to social media and other technological devices that can drive them to all manners of content on the internet if not checked.
The Kilifi County Maendeleo ya Wanawake Organizing chairlady expresses concern that now that primary and secondary children will be at home for seven weeks and their activities must be monitored.
“It is very important that the parents get concerned about the movement of their children and the content they are accessing on various media platforms,” she says.
According to her parents must monitor the gaming activities that their children are exposed to especially on the internet.
She urges them to be close to their children and talk to them to understand the hurdles they are facing by guiding them where possible as teachers did their best of instilling discipline while in school.
“This is a long holiday and we want these children back in school in January 8th, 2024. We want them to maintain that values, morals and discipline they obtain at school to continue at home. It is very appalling to see children smoking and causing confusion to the society.”
As many families prepare for the Christmas festivities, she tells parents to beware of risks that their disciplined children may encounter through corrupted morals exposures asking them to be on the lookout.
This will boost a previous campaign launched by Kilifi government against teen pregnancies which was aimed at finding a lasting solution to the increasing cases of early pregnancies in the county.
According to a report released by the health department at least 4,000 school-going girls aged between 10 and 17 years were impregnated in Kilifi County this year.
However, these figures could higher since some deliveries are secretly done at homes for fear of stigma without such being officially recorded.
The report blames the rise of teenage pregnancies to parents’ negligence and retrogressive culture of the Mijikenda people.
Kilifi County gender, culture and social services chief officer Agneta Karembo says the county government is set to launch a gender-based violence policy on November 25 to sensitize communities to abandon retrogressive cultural practices contributing to the problem.
The policy, she adds, will address cases of early pregnancies and gender-based violence through providing early GBV response as well as help in terms of budget allocation and providing a legal framework.