By Cynthia Nabwire
Feb, 11th 2021 – The Kenya National Union of Public Post Primary Teachers (KUPPET) has emphasized that they will reject attempts to re-introduce caning in schools. Kisumu county KUPPET executive secretary, Zablon Awange termed this as outrageous, attempts to bring back corporal punishment.
Similarly, Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) had earlier vowed to reject the re-introduction of caning. According to Knut General Secretary Wilson Sossion, the re-introduction of caning would put the lives of teachers at risk, especially from teenagers. He however suggested that the government should post police officers in schools to ensure discipline and order.
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha had also said that re-introduction of caning in school will be revisited and if successful, it would be used in schools to deal with indiscipline children. He said, “I may appear old school but I think we are at a time when we need to discuss how we can bring sanity in our schools and maybe bring the cane on board once more.”
He added that if used correctly, corporal punishment could reduce the amount of indiscipline related cases in schools. He said, “We are not going to accept that schools be dumping grounds for students who lack proper nurture and good foundation at their homes. It is such parents who again turn against teachers, accusing them of not doing enough to control their children. That should stop.”
Speaking on the same, Bondo Member of Parliament, Dr. Gideon Ochanda said that re-introduction of caning in schools will not be a remedy to the ongoing unrests in schools. According to him, reverting to corporal punishment in schools is like going from better to worse.
Dr. Ochanda said, “These students have been free for more than nine months and were even engaged in economic activities where they earned money. Now that they are back to school where they are restricted, they can easily become unruly and therefore the schools need to find alternative methods of dealing with their delinquent behaviour as opposed to subjecting them to corporal punishment which would trigger chaos.”
He criticized Magoha for advocating for re-introduction of corporal punishment in schools to curb unrest.
Meanwhile, Teachers’ unions have in the recent past called for the abolition of boarding schools amid rising cases of arson. The abolishment of boarding schools is set to allow for parents to discipline their own children.