Cane may find its way back in class, Magoha now hints
Robert Ochoro and Noven Owiti
Education Cabinet Secretary, Prof. George Magoha yesterday hinted at the possibility of the government reintroducing caning in learning institutions in a bid to curb the increasing cases of indiscipline among learners.
He at the same time announced that the government will test all learners who are consuming drugs in schools in order to eradicate the vice.
Magoha said his ministry in collaboration with the ministry of health would conduct random visits to schools and collect blood samples from students for tests.
He warned that learners whose results will turn positive “will have to answer difficult questions.”
The Minister said the move is among the new strategies his ministry and officials from the security sector have recommended to control increased cases of arson attacks and indiscipline in schools.
He observed that some students might be smuggling drugs to schools.
He deplored the burning of schools and attacks on teachers by students and challenged management stakeholders to be proactive and help to curb such vices.
Magoha who spoke at St Joseph’s Nyabururu Primary School urged school heads to confiscate sanitisers from students, saying they are 70 percent alcohol and they could use them to start fires or as drugs to intoxicate them.
“ We have agreed with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to make random checks in schools to find out substance abuse for action to be taken against perpetrators.
Magoha, accompanied by Nyanza regional Director of Education, Willy Machocho, Kisii County Commissioner Allan Macharia and Kisii County Director of Education, Pius Ngoma said parents will be responsible for school properties destroyed by their children.
He said students who burnt school buildings will not be readmitted to other schools, adding Education Principal Secretary, Belio Kipsang will issue a circular to school Heads to effect it.
The CS said the delivery of school desks was at 80 percent nationally and teachers had completed the syllabus, adding national examinations for primary and secondary will be done on 19 March and March respectively.
“Arsonists should know children have completed the syllabus, they are confident and examinations will be done” Magoha told the Press at the school.
He urged examination candidates not to be anxious, saying the government is aware of the effects of Covid 19 and examiners will consider it.
The cabinet Secretary urged education stakeholders to get information on people who impregnated school children and forward their names to relevant authorities for arrest and prosecution.
He urged parents to inculcate moral values in their children and shun yielding to their unrealistic demands, saying it ruined their lives.
He said the rampant burning down and destruction of school properties could be attributed to substance abuse among learners which they started consuming during the prolonged school break.
“We will soon start random visits to schools to conduct blood test and any student found to be active on drug abuse will be expelled,” Magoha said when he toured Ogande Girls High School in Homa Bay county.
CS Magoha who was accompanied by Technical and Vocational Training Principal Secretary Julius Jwan, revealed that the ministry is also in discussions with the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) to make a database of cases of arson attacks in schools.
Nyanza regional education director Willie Machocho and Homa Bay County
Commissioner Moses Lilan also graced the occasion.
The minister said DCI officials will then track down students who engage in cases of indiscipline in their schools, noting that their records will be kept and used against them in the future.
“The government is coming up with stringent measures to end the nonsense of students becoming unruly and destroying school properties,” he said.
Magoha directed teachers and school board management to take up the responsibility of instilling discipline among students even as he accused some parents of failing in their abdicated roles.
He said teachers should be proactive in ensuring students follow rules set by their schools.
“I am perplexed when teachers say they do not know what causes fire in schools.
They should be hands-on in ensuring students do what they are meant to do in school,” he added.
He stated that going forward teachers will be required to monitor all movements of learners in order to avoid cases of unrest.
“Students should be keenly monitored even if they are going to the toilet to seal any security loophole that is causing problems in our schools,” he said.
At the same time, the CS instructed school managements not to admit students who have been expelled from another school because of cross misconduct but noted that expelled students have a chance of appealing to be given consideration and readmission.