Magoha calls for return of caning in institutions

Tuesday, December 7th, 2021 14:00 | By
Education CS George Magoha during release of the 2021/22 student placement report in Nairobi, yesterday. Photo/PD/John Ochieng

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha yesterday called for the return of corporal punishment to arrest the rising cases of indiscipline in schools.
He made the remarks as he urged parents to discipline their children instead of leaving the task to teachers.

“We need to re-introduce canning in schools like yesterday. And parents should discipline children and stop expecting our teachers to do the impossible. That schools are running in this era of Covid-19 is testament enough to be grateful and we want to celebrate our teachers,” he said.

Prof Magoha, who was accompanied by his Interior counterpart Dr Fred Matiang’i, made the remarks at Egetonto Primary School in Kisii, yesterday, during the handover of newly constructed four classrooms. “I was caned many times and I did not die, I became better, so the people who are holding children like eggs is one of the reasons why our children cannot handle stress,” he added.

He lauded private schools, saying they are doing extremely well; free of incidents of impunity because the school principals are empowered and can discipline learners unlike in public schools.

Toughest jobs

“Private schools have no instances of indiscipline. If you are too big for them, you go home unlike in public schools where school heads cannot expel children,” he noted.

The CS said the ministry is aware there are issues of drugs in schools, which should be handled with the seriousness it deserves.

Matiang’i echoed similar sentiments saying that it was necessary for stakeholders to start a national conversation on parenting and discipline in schools.

He regretted that school heads have challenges handling indisciplined children. “We should not leave these issues to the government alone, it is work we all need to do. We have buried our heads in the sand for too long, especially from the point of view of parenting. If you want to know the challenges we have in parenting, talk to school principals,” he said adding that school heads have one of the toughest jobs in the country.

“I was very angry when I saw Maranda High School going up in smoke on Sunday. Let us all join hands and speak with one voice, we must discipline our children,” said Matiang’i.

“We cannot create a society where we build schools, then the learners burn them down, and these things are not easy. It takes a lot of sacrifice to have these things done.”

This came as two more schools were indefinitely closed in Naivasha as cases of unrest among students continued to rise.

Police arrested 11 students from Naivasha Boys Secondary School for allegedly burning down the institution’s dormitory on Sunday evening.
Earlier, over 400 students from the nearby Naivasha High School had walked out of the institution in unclear circumstances.

At Naivasha Boys Secondary School , a dormitory located in Maryland estate was burnt down at around 8pm, when the students were in class for evening studies on Sunday.

A witness, James Kinyanjui who lives near the school, noted that lack of water and strong winds, came in the way of containing the fire or rescue any of the students’ personal effects.

“The fire was intense making it impossible to get near and all we could do was watch from a distance as the dormitory burnt to the ground,” he said.
Naivasha sub-county Deputy Commissioner Mutua Kisilu confirmed the incident, adding that no one was injured.

Arrested students

He said that initial investigations point to arson and the 11 students have been arrested in connection with the incident.

Kisilu added that learning in the nearby Naivasha High School had also been affected after 80 per cent of the students walked out in unclear circumstances.

“Majority of the students decided to walk out unprovoked and the security team had to intervene and send the other students home,” he said.
Kisilu warned that any students caught vandalising or burning school property will face the full wrath of the law.

“We have increased our surveillance and intelligence gathering in all the schools due to a surge in arson attacks,” he said.

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