A school in the Nyeri County has refused to admit a child because it was born with both male and female genitals and this has left his family in pain.
According to the child’s guardian, the 11-year -old was born on April 25, 2007, and the birth document they were issued at the hospital indicated that the child was a boy.
“I have lived with this child’s mother for the past four years. She is the last born of three siblings and when she was born, we gave her a boy’s name; but now, we had to change it to a girl’s name because a doctor told us to,” he noted.
The family produced documents which indicated medical records from a visit to county referral hospital on March 18, 2103, where a doctor indicated that the child had undergone an examination and been found to have both sex organs.
“The male sex organ is dormant and no activity noted, while the female sex organ is active, which is demonstrated by the child’s characteristics when passing urine,” the records indicated.
The records further stated:
“Meanwhile the child can be identified as a girl to await future development to facilitate easier learning environment.”
For a few years the family had enrolled the child in a private school but after falling on hard financial times, they had no alternative but to take her to a public school in Kiganjo town.
“I personally took her to the school this term but after the head teacher found out about her condition they demanded a birth certificate and expelled her from the institution,”
He explained. Armed with the two conflicting document, the family are unsure what to indicate as the gender of the child on the birth certificate application forms as they cannot be left blank.
“If we indicate she is a boy on her birth certificate, yet she is identified as a girl we shall be lying and there is no option of leaving it blank on the document,” the distraught father stated.
Fearful that his daughter may lack basic education, he has been camping at government offices seeking advice on how to get his child back to school.
Nyeri County Deputy director for education Mwangi Kabora, said the was no reason the child should be out of school as the Basic Education Act was clear on providing all children with the right to education.
“I have advised the parent to take their child to school as soon as possible as a there is no reason to deny the child access to their rights,” he noted.
However, for the girl’s parents, the dilemma remains how to acquire the crucial birth certificate without indicating gender.