The Constituency Development Fund Committees (CDFCs) in Murang’a County have been asked to buy underwear for schoolboys as a way of promoting education in the county.
A committee formed to coordinate distribution of free sanitary towels to schoolgirls by the government observed that the boy child has been left behind in interventions geared towards academic improvement.
In a meeting chaired by the County Commissioner (CC), John Elung’ata, committee members who are composed of selected government departmental heads in the county, appealed to the local CDF committees to set aside funds to buy underwear for the boys.
It was observed that lack of innerwear was lowering the self-esteem among boys and negatively affecting their performance in academics and extra curriculum activities.
As various interventions are implemented to address challenges faced by girls, the boy child is now feeling left out and will find ways of projecting it. Observed Mrs. Esther Wambugu, head teacher Mumbi Girls Secondary School.
Ms. Wambugu said that previously when she served in a mixed school, boys could even break into the store where pads were kept and steal some claiming that they were taking them to their sisters and mothers at home.
The teacher noted that on further interrogation the boys expressed the feeling that they were left out in favour of girls and were projecting their frustrations through stealing the pads.
The CC said that since the government has rolled out a program to provide free sanitary pads to schoolgirls, it was important for CDFCs to factor in their budgets the provision of underwear to schoolboys.
He said that boys should equally be comfortable when learning, adding that there are many areas in the county where poverty is so high that parents cannot afford to buy underwear for their boys, noting that the issue is matter of great concern and should be addressed without further delay.
While the issue of underwear is almost a taboo topic that is hardly addressed in public, it is a hygiene issue that affects the way a child will interact with many situations in life.
For instance, a child who puts on underwear will feel comfortable and confident which boosts self-esteem. Such a boy will be comfortable to participate in sports among other activities without fearing ridicule from his peers as is would be in the case where he didn’t have one on.
Wearing underwear also prevents diseases by protecting the private parts from coming into contact with dirt or surfaces that can cause injuries.
It also maintains privacy should a pant fall down for any reason or where shorts are torn.
However, many poor parents are unable to buy or replace worn-out innerwear for their children, which may lead to frustrated boys dropping out school.
It is now upon the committees allocating constituency development funds to consider the issue as a priority agenda just as building school infrastructure is.
Source: Kenya News Agency