11 February 2013

Kenya: Jiggers Caused Muranga' KCPE Drop ? Ahadi

JIGGER infestation caused the dismal performance of Murang'a pupils in last year's KCPE, a lobby group has said. Ahadi Kenya Trust yesterday said jiggers had an adverse effect on the performance of pupils from the county

The NGO said they had noted a strong link between the performance of schoolchildren and the infestation of the vermin.

Counties which performed poorly in 2012 KCPE exams such as Murang'a and Nyeri have a high number of children affected by jiggers, the organisation said.

Ahadi CEO Stanley Kamau and the founder, former Miss Kenya Cecilia Mwangi, said the trend is worrying and requires immediate attention by the government.

Speaking at Kabati police station in Murang'a during an anti-jigger campaign, Kamau said Murang'a is the most affected county. He attributed the high school dropout rates in the county to the jigger menace.

Murang'a was ranked 36 out of 47 counties in last year's KCPE results with a mean score of less than 250 marks.

"We saw the performance of KCPE in Murang'a fall simply because many of these children cannot go to school. They also cannot concentrate in class," Mwangi said.

The beauty queen appealed to the Education ministry to support schoolchildren recovering from the vermin attack. Ahadi's anti-jigger campaigns across the country have rescued thousands of children from the adverse effects of the parasite.

CEO Kamau called on politicians seeking to become governor, senator and women representative of Murang'a to prioritise the fight against jiggers.

He said if the politicians address poverty in the county, it will be one way of getting rid of jiggers. He further called on candidates for elective posts not to disrupt classes during their campaigns.

"I urge politicians not to make noise near schools as many pupils cannot concentrate. The learners have already lost too much in the last few months," he said. The national school calendar were disrupted by a teachers' strike last September and chaotic nominations last month.

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