Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu has condemned the increasing cases of corporal punishment of pupils by a section of teachers in Kisii and Nyamira counties, describing those involved as criminals who should be arrested by the police immediately.
In an interview with the Nation on Thursday, the CS said the recent cases of brutality reported in the two counties were very disturbing and warned that those involved would be fired and prosecuted for injuring the pupils.
Mr Machogu was speaking as police in Kisii said they had arrested three of the teachers involved in the latest incident.
“We arrested three teachers on Wednesday. They are all employed by the board. They will be charged in court later on Thursday. One teacher and a security guard are still at large,” said Kisii County Police Commander Charles Kases.
In the latest incident, a secondary school student on Tuesday told a heartbreaking story of torture by his teachers.
This resulted in him losing a testicle in yet another disturbing incident of corporal punishment in Gusii schools.
The incident took place on Monday at Nyabisia Secondary School in Nyamache Division, Bobasi Constituency.
The 19-year-old student said five teachers and a school security guard brutalised him and damaged one of his testicles, which doctors said had ruptured as a result of the severe beating. The damaged reproductive organ was removed at Hema Hospital in Kisii town.
The CS said those involved are not considered teachers but criminal brutes who use jungle law when dealing with pupils.
“This is so disturbing and criminal! It is no longer an educational matter, it is a criminal matter, if a teacher goes to that extent, then he is a criminal and he is no longer a teacher,” said Mr Machogu.
The CS noted that teachers have clear guidelines and scope of their duties and brutalising children is not one of them.
“What is a teacher supposed to do? A teacher is not supposed to go that far in administering discipline and in the name of discipline you find yourself inflicting very serious injuries on young boys that they will never forget for the rest of their lives, such as permanently affecting their manhood,” said the CS for Education.
Mr Machogu said: “To me, these are just criminals, and I cannot even call them teachers. The law should take its course and they should be punished accordingly. They should be taken to court and dismissed from service.
The CS said the ministry would not tolerate extra-legal actions by errant teachers that contravene the Ministry of Education’s code of conduct and guidelines.
Article 29 of the Constitution of Kenya on Freedom and Security of Citizens prohibits corporal punishment, torture or cruel punishment.
In recent weeks, Kisii and Nyamira counties have witnessed extreme cases of brutality by some teachers, with two pupils being brutalised to the extent of being castrated.
Last week, a Standard Eight pupil at Bitundugusu Primary School was reportedly brutalised by his teachers resulting in swelling of his scrotum and subsequent surgery and removal of his testicle.
The incident took place at Bitundugusu Primary School in Kitutu Masaba Constituency, where the boy who lost his testicle was admitted to Bosongo Hospital, a private health facility in Kisii County.
Medical staff at the hospital told the Nation that the boy was brought to the health facility and admitted with extremely swollen reproductive organs.
Upon examination, doctors found that one of his testicles was irreparably damaged in what they called ‘testicular torsion’, forcing them to operate on it to relieve the excruciating pain the boy was experiencing.
In another horrific incident two weeks ago, a Grade Four student at the Riang’ombe Adventist Primary Boarding School was brutally beaten and left with very serious injuries.
The nine-year-old student was allegedly given 107 strokes of the cane after he went to report the theft of his clothes from the boarding house.
The injuries were so severe that the child was left with a deep gash after a muscle was broken, leaving a crater on the boy’s buttocks.
The main suspect is still at large and police in Nyamira say they have intensified their search for the missing teacher.
However, five suspects have been questioned, including the boarding master, the headteacher, his deputy, the class 4 teacher and the matron.