A new report has shed light on the effects of last year’s closure of schools, owing to the coronavirus pandemic.
Promises to Keep: Impact of Covid 19 on Adolescents in Kenya was launched this morning by Gender CS Prof Margaret Kobia.
Among the findings of the report is that 320,000 teens fell pregnant over the last one year. “Four percent of 15 to 19 year-old adolescent girls are pregnant or recently had a baby,” says the report.
In addition, when schools were reopened in January, 2021 (after eight-month closure), 16% of girls and 8% of boys did not return. The effects of closure seems to have weighed down heavily on the youngsters.
Teens are Depressed- Report
The study says nearly half of adolescents experienced symptoms related to depression. These instances of depression had an effect on increase in violence with 52% of boys and 39% of girls reporting cases.
The report was launched as the government keeps in tow with its commitment to end all forms of Gender-Based Violence by year 2030. This commitment was made at the Generation Equality Forum held in Paris, France, from June 30 to July 2 this year.
The Promises to Keep study also says 7% of school-going children had challenges in accessing learning materials during Covid period. In addition, 75% of adolescents miss meals and 50% of adolescent girls have no access to sanitary pads.
“We recognise the government is doing its best to address this issues facing adolescents:
But if there was a time to look at this issue, it’s now,” said CS Kobia.
The study recommends the development of a strong multi-sectoral policy approach to address adolescent health and well-being, a method of a way to capturing the voices of adolescents, and a return-to-school policy for those who are pregnant or have bore children.
It also advocates for additional financing and addressing of the digital divide, and the establishment of safe hubs and skills building opportunities for youth.