Exploring student-mothers’ schooling experiences on return to secondary school: a case of a public secondary school in Mombasa County: research

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Mweru Mwingi

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Nipael Mrutu


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


In the spirit of ensuring equity in education, Kenya introduced the re-entry policy on teenage pregnancy of 1994 to ensure girls who drop out of school due to pregnancy continue with schooling. However, there is scant literature on the subject both internationally and nationally. In addition, little is available on the experiences of the teenage girls who take advantage of the policy and re-enter secondary school following delivery. Therefore this study sought to explore schooling experiences of student-mothers after return to secondary school. The study was conducted in two public secondary schools in Mombasa Sub-County. The study employed qualitative case study in order to provide in-depth information on challenges experienced by student-mothers and support accorded to mitigate the challenges. Data was collected from student-mothers, head teachers, guiding and counseling teachers (GNC) teachers and parents through face to face semi-structured interviews, focused group discussion and document analysis. Collected data was then analyzed and presented thematically. The findings of the study revealed conflicting views on policy awareness and implementation, with all the study participants not having accessed to policy document. Policy adherence and implementation was based on perceptions of the key custodians the policy and the decision to return to school and remain there against all odds on the self-esteem of the student-mothers. Major challenges faced by student-mothers emanating from the study were; personal challenges, stigmatization as a result of customs and traditions, lack of adequate support and difficulty in balancing schooling and motherhood. In the light of these findings, there is need for policy makers and educators to sensitize stakeholders on the re-entry policy and its guidelines. Again, close follow–up and monitoring on the policy implementation at all levels is essential. Finally, students should be exposed to and provided with adequate information on health education and life skills to mitigate the teenage pregnancy and also aid their coping with the challenges of student motherhood.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library