MPs angered by TSC report on pupil’s death
MPs on Thursday expressed outrage over a move by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to exonerate a teacher, who allegedly caused the death of a Class Six pupil by publicly humiliating her for soiling her dress.
Jackeline Chepng’eno, a pupil at Kabiangek Primary School, committed suicide after allegedly being publicly ridiculed by her teacher over her menses.
A report compiled by TSC has linked her death to a family problem as her mother and grandmother are said to have a drinking problem.
In addition, the report says Chepng’eno also had the responsibility of taking care of her two other siblings as her elder sister had been hospitalised for a terminal illness for the last two months at Kapkatet General Hospital.
“According to statements by her classmates, the class teacher Madam Jenifer Chemutai did not scold or ridicule Jackeline for soiling her school uniform,” the report reads in part.
“Jackeline’s parents separated long time ago. Her mother and all her siblings were staying at her maternal grandmother’s place. Unfortunately for Jackeline, both her mother and grandmother are addicted to alcohol. It is Jackeline who had the responsibility to undertake all the family chores,” the report added.
But speaking after the report was tabled in the National Assembly by Education committee chairperson Julius Melly, the MPs called for thorough investigations to determine what really led to Chepng’eno's death.
The legislators demanded that the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) probe the matter. They said it was wrong for TSC to exonerate the teacher yet information on the ground “clearly shows that the teacher was behind the matter”.
MPs millie Odhiambo (Suba North), Kubai Iringo (Igembe Central), John Mbadi (Suba South) and Denittah Ghati (nominated) said it is unacceptable for young girls to die owing to a natural act.
Iringo dismissed the report and accused TSC of diverting from the original problem of not having sanitary towels.
He said instead of dismissing such a matter, TSC should have conducted an independent investigation into the matter.
Mbadi said suicide should be re-looked at in a wider perspective to determine why there was an increase of the trend among young people.
However, Leader of Majority Aden Duale said TSC had done its part as what is remaining was the criminal part that can only be investigated by the DCI.
He said: “We want to get to the bottom of how our daughter died. We can even ask the DPP to conduct an inquest into how the student died. Before you bash TSC, read their report.”
Chepalungu MP Gideon Koskei, who hails from the same constituency as the girl, said at her funeral there were allegations that TSC was trying to protect the teacher and threats were made against some people.