The Government will take firm action against teachers meting out corporal punishment on learners in schools, the Cabinet Secretary for Education, Dr Fred Matiang’i has said.
He said some teachers beat children like snakes, warning that corporal punishment of whatever nature was outlawed. “I want to make it clear that this kind of behaviour or any other kind of molestation to our children will not be tolerated,” Dr Matiang’i warned.
The CS spoke this during St Peter’s Gathuthi-Ini Secondary School in Kirinyaga district today. He was flanked by the Principal Secretary for Interior and National Coordination Dr Eng Karanja Kibicho, and the area Senator Mr Daniel Karaba.
The remarks follow media reports that a teacher in a primary school in Laikipia County ruthlessly beaten 10 year-old after she was unable to read an English sentence during class work.
“Correct the children if they have done mistakes. Play with them. If they have challenges, talk to them,” Dr Matiang’i observed, saying that the relevant government organs will firmly deal with those who impose corporal punishment on learners in their custody.
Dr Matiang’i expressed concern that schools were levying extra costs on parents beyond the approved government rates, noting that access to education was hampered by unregulated school levies.
“I call upon school managers to adhere to government school fees guidelines to ensure that our children are in school and not out of the classroom,” Dr Matiang’i said, adding that County Education officials should ensure schools adhere to the school fees guidelines.
He noted that laxity in curriculum implementation coupled by teacher absenteeism is having detrimental effects on the learning outcomes.
He said the Ministry fully supports Teachers Service Commission policy curbing teacher absenteeism to the bare minimum, saying this will ensure teacher availability to teach children in school.
He revealed that the ministry had realigned activities to ensure that teachers no longer attend to workshops and training during the school teaching hours.
“We have rationalised our events to weekends and holidays so as to maximise teacher student contact hours,” he added.
He said County Directors of Education and their subordinates are expected to visit schools three times in a week, saying this will enable them to effectively supervise the quality of teaching and learning taking place in schools.
He asked parents and guardians to support and work in harmony with the schools. “The Ministry of Education cannot work alone in impacting positive changes in the education sector. We all have to work together for the good of our children,” he said.