Education CS, corporal punishment in schools is illegal

By Achola Simon/Judith Akolo

 

The fate of Keveye Girls School who was caught on camera administering corporal punishment on students now hangs in the balance.

Education Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiangi who made an impromptu visit to the school in Vihiga County directed the County Teachers Service Commission Co-ordinator to ensure that due process is followed on the matter.

Matiangi said the government will follow the laid down procedures while punishing the teacher. Noting that the Education Act prohibits corporal punishment in schools.

The action by the teachers elicited sharp reactions among the public for the brutal manner in which they handed the punishment.

The Cabinet Secretary accompanied by officials from the Ministry of Education after inspecting the school held a closed door meeting with the teachers and the school Principal Judith Ngome.

The CS visited the students’ dormitories, classes, held a meeting with the teachers in the staffroom and held the meeting with the school management before addressing the students.

Later the schools board of governors remained holed up in a meeting for the better part of the day.

The CS was accompanied by vocational and technical education Principal Secretary Dinah Mwinzi, director basic education Leah Rotich, director of education and quality assurance Mutisya and head of protocol in the Ministry Ruth Agesa.

County TSC director Stephen Mudho and county director of education Anne Kiilu were also present.

Matiang’i, while addressing students, assured them of the government’s commitment to supporting them learn in an enabling environment.

He said the ministry will provide funds for the school so that it could expand its facilities to cater for the large number of students who enrolled in Form One this year.

The video clip believed to have been uploaded by one of the teachers at the school, shows teachers administering corporal punishing on the students.

In one instance, a student receives a blow from the heavy rod, she falls under the weight of cane, topples over and even hits her head against the wall.

Another one is caned and due to the pain, she falls under her weight and wails only to be received by the next teacher who lashes her again as if in a conveyor belt fashion.

The Principal Judith Ngome has denied any knowledge of grievous corporal punishment being meted out on students at the school.

In an interview, Ngome said the school is big and with many classrooms making it difficult for her to know what could be taking place in one or the other of the classrooms.

“They are saying that I had knowledge of what was happening,” she says and adds, “How would I know what is happening in another part of the school or classroom?”

She says she is a busy Principal who sometimes has to attend meetings out of the school. “When you came you found when I had gone for a meeting, suppose something happened in my absence, would I still be in the know of such a thing,” posed Ngome.

She says someone after tarnishing the name of the school could have come up with the clip and insists that the students are safe.

  

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