KEWOTA Wants Breastfeeding Centers Set Up In Schools
The Kenya Women Teachers Association (KEWOTA) has called on the government to set up breastfeeding centres in schools in order to ensure that lactating teachers are able to breastfeed their babies without any problems.
According to KEWOTA, a law passed in 2016 means that the government has to build facilities in all public schools. However, up to the moment of raising the issue, public schools had not been compliant with the passed law.
Benta Opande, the KEWOTA Chief Executive Officer said that female teachers especially those having young children spend a lot of time and money instead of having a breastfeeding facility to assist them.
“We should support young female teachers who have young ones and feel the need to breastfeed their children while working. When the child is near the teacher, the teacher is more productive and quality education boosted,” said Ms Opande.
Benta was speaking at the St Marks Teachers College in Kigari, located in Embu County during the closing ceremony for the intercollegiate athletics championships that were held this year.
“We head in the news that even teachers are committing suicide. We want the ministry to be involved and address the issue of mental health. It is real and cannot be ignored,” said Ms Opande.
“When parents and the society trust you with their children, respect that trust as expected. We have gotten reports that there are teachers who mishandle young learners and it is not acceptable in our society,” she added.
This request for breastfeeding points in schools is likely to be helpful especially for female teachers considering that the maternity leave lasts for 120 days yet mothers still breastfeed their children for more than that duration.