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Catholic bishops want school administrators and Boards of Management (BoM) given more powers to handle cases of extreme indiscipline in schools.
The clerics drawn from the Kenya Conference of Catholics Bishops (KCCB) expressed concern over the continued disruption of learning saying deterrent action need to be taken to arrest the situation.
They in particular proposed the need to empower BOMs to ensure stiffer penalties are imposed upon those who will be caught on the wrong side.
“The Boards of Management and the Principals as well as heads of schools should be empowered and supported to deal with the extreme indiscipline cases in our schools,” said Archbishop Martin Kivuva who read the statement.
Currently, powers to deal with serious cases of indiscipline are vested in the ministry and not school administration.
The bishops urged stakeholders to work closely to effectively eliminate cases of alcoholism and drug abuse as well as cultism and radicalisation in learning institutions.
“Besides indiscipline, we need to address the issue of cultism and radicalisation in schools as well as challenges related to mental health.
The bishops at the same time called on the government to reinstate extra-curricular activities and sports, which were stopped to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic in learning institutions.
Said Kivuva: “We call for the reinstatement of extracurricular activities in schools”.
An estimated 35 schools across Kenya have been set ablaze in the last one month, leading to their closure.
Authorities have blamed the fire incidents to indisciplined students and vowed to take harsh action against those found culpable.
Banned from transferring
Education Minister George Magoha has warned students found culpable will not only be arrested and prosecuted but will also be banned from transferring to any other learning institution in the country.
Their parents will also be forced to pay for the damage caused, the CS has warned.
“Anybody who is planning to burn the building, just remember that if you are caught, you are not going to go to any other school, definitely not a public school in this country. You will go back and ensure your parents contribute to the rebuilding of the school that you have burnt,” Magoha said.
Officials are blaming drug abuse, stress, curriculum overload and poor student-teacher relation for the unrest.
On the implementation of Competence Based Curriculum (CBC), the clerics called on the government to give more capacity and strategic support to teachers and parents.
The bishops also asked the government to enhance efforts to tackle the drought situation in parts of the country to avert humanitarian crises.