Parents and headteachers have supported the push for the re introduction of caning to curb unrest in schools.
They also reiterated Education Cabinet Secretary, George Magoha’s push for the abolition of boarding schools after the level of insecurity and unrests in the institutions of learning rose sharply over the past few months.
Nicholas Maiyo, the National Parents Association Chairman, admitted that caning would assist in disciplining students, but argued that guidelines should be issued on how to enforce this measure.
The parents’ representative stated that some individuals may get overboard and injure students or resort to caning instead of seeking an alternative measure to discipline an errant student.
“Not everyone can administer the cane. We want a trained person to do it because teachers can be careless at times and may cause harm,” Maiyo told a local daily. Nonetheless, he did not clarify who the experts will be, how they will be trained and the cost of training them.
However, he detailed that rather than using these experts, parents can also be summoned to discipline their own children in schools.
Kenya Secondary School Heads Associations (KESSHA) chairperson, Kahi Indimuli also called on the Ministry of Education to lay down guidelines before rushing to introduce caning in schools.
He stated that more issues needed to be addressed to curb unrest including guiding students, outlining discipline criteria and funding schools.
The proposal to introduce caning and abolition of boarding schools has been a long-year discussion ever since the subject was made public in January 2021.
Other education stakeholders opposed the move arguing that it will create a conflict between learners and teachers. Former Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Secretary General, Wilson Sossion, asked CS Magoha to post police officers to cane students, rather than using teachers.
On Tuesday, December 7, Sossion urged parents to reject the proposal and castigated Magoha for planning to reintroduce the cane.
“The CS should be declared completely out of order particularly when he’s making a pronouncement of re-introducing the cane.
“You cannot inflict pain on learners when they are going through the education system. It has been banned by the law,” he stated in an interview on KTN News.
On the previous day, Magoha and his Interior Ministry counterpart, Fred Matiang’i, insisted that the re-introduction of corporal punishment was a lasting solution to indiscipline in schools.
“We need to introduce caning back in schools like yesterday… do not expect our teachers to do the impossible,” Magoha stated.
“We must discipline our children and we must insist on some things we cannot create a society of animals. So our work is to build schools as they burn them down? It’s tough love, our children must understand one thing that it takes sacrifice from parents to get these things,” Matiang’i added.