By DICKSON ODHIAMBO.
COUNTY Governments within the Nyanza region have been called upon to pass laws that would illegalize any form of child labour in various sectors within their counties.
This move is aimed at helping in improving educational standards in the region.
Increased cases of child labour, and early marriage have been cited as key challenges affecting the education sector in the formerly Nyanza region leading to massive drop out levels,
A report released by a community based organization working in various counties within the Nyanza region indicates that most school going children, who are mostly orphans and vulnerable children are forced to drop out of school and engage in various forms of labour mainly in the Agriculture, fishing, and mining industries within Kisumu, Migori, Homabay and Siaya counties.
‘You will find children as young as seven working in sugarcane firms while some are engaged in quarrying," Part of the report read.
The report indicates that the Nyanza region which boasted of being the country’s educational giant is now facing a number of challenges that need a joint stakeholders’ contribution to restore the fading academic glory.
James Akali the founder member of Akali educational foundation has noted with concern that poverty Child labour, early marriage, are some of the key factors affecting the educational sector along the lake region hence, various educational stakeholders in the region including professionals from various areas have been advised to team up so as to address the same.
"Children stop going to school to engage in economic activities to raise money for their survival. Something has to be done about the situation,"
It is widely acknowledged that poverty is one of the main contemporary causes of child labour. Others are lack of girl child education, unemployment among parents, early marriages and abandoned children.
Apart from subsidizing the bursary scheme funded by various government and non governmental agencies, Akali has advised that professionals from the regional could be better role models in various schools.
The group has also been challenged to facilitate the building of better learning facilities, and provide learning materials within their localities, a move that would help improve performance in the said schools.