Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha and Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i have in unison agreed to push for reintroduction of caning in schools.
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha who was in Egentonto Primary School in South Mugirango Constituency in Kisii County accompanied by Matiang’i, advocated for the reintroduction of corporal punishment in schools to bring back sanity.
“I am adamant that caning should be reintroduced back in schools immediately because we cannot afford to have rogue students running amok in schools unchecked,” said Magoha.
Magoha said that during his time in school, they were caned thoroughly which made him what he is today and that nobody died from the strokes of canes they got from teachers in a bid to instill discipline in the students.
“We need to introduce caning back in schools like yesterday… do not expect our teachers to do the impossible,” Magoha stated.
The same sentiments were echoed by CS Matiang’i, who made it clear that the government has had enough of the indiscipline cases in schools.
“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 noted.
“I am not a subscriber of those things of human rights of the child, because the Bible says spare the rod and spoil the child, I want us to start talking how we will discipline our children,” added Matiang’i.
Magoha further castigated the students stating that some of them even want to hurt their teachers and other education stakeholders.
“Which human rights are those when you want to burn your colleagues in the halls, and that will lead to the talks of whether we still need boarding schools in the country,” Magoha questioned.
The plan to reintroduce corporal punishment comes barely days after Maranda High School was torched on Sunday, December 5.
At the same Matiang’i blamed human rights activists for the unruly behaviour currently witnessed in schools.
He said human rights activists have made it difficult for the Government to have sanity in the education sector.
However, he added that the Government is keen on ensuring there was law and order in the management of the education sector in the country.
“The Government is concerned about the frequent cases of unrest in schools and we are going to put measures in place to ensure we have law and order in place,” said Matiang’i.
There are forces pushing for reintroduction of caning in schools.
Few weeks ago Kisii and Nyamira leaders wanted the government to convene an urgent stakeholders meeting to discuss reintroducing caning to end runaway arson and indiscipline.
They want the Education ministry to lift the ban on corporal punishment to curb the surge in school burnings.
At least 17 arson fires have damaged schools around the country since.
A section of clerics have also called on the Ministry of Education to consider reintroducing corporal punishment in schools.
The clergymen said tough disciplinary actions against students violating institutional rules and regulations is the only way to restore sanity in schools and maintain discipline among students.
The Federation of Evangelical and Indigenous Christian Churches of Kenya warned that sending students home without addressing the root cause of unrest will not solve the matter.
The violence has seen dormitories torched and school properties damaged.
“As the church, we are very concerned by this worrying trend of our children using violent means to air their grievances. If not addressed immediately, it will will be a cancer that will take ages to combat,” Bishop Samuel Njiriri said.
“It is high time caning is allowed in our schools so as to instil proper discipline in our children. Even the Bible avers that you spare the rod, you spoil the child.”
The clerics spoke during a prayer meeting and a fundraiser for construction of a modern church at Glory Outreach Assembly in Kahawa Wendani, Ruiru subcounty on Saturday.
Njiriri said there was a spike in indiscipline following the closure of schools in March last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said most of the students started engaging in anti-social vices like drinking alcohol and abusing drugs.
“This is the time our girls started being impregnated. This the reason why we are witnessing such uncouth behaviour from our children and all stakeholders must work jointly to deal with the problem,” Njiriri said.