Two pupils commit suicide after being ‘forced to repeat class’
Harrison Kivisu and Kirera Mwiti
Two pupils have committed suicide in two separate incidents after allegedly being forced to repeat class.
In the first incident, a 14-year-old girl in Kwa Ng’ombe village in Jomvu area, Mombasa, committed suicide yesterday after allegedly being forced to repeat Class Six.
Rehema Kalume’s body was found dangling from the roof of their house at around 10am yesterday by her elder sister Tatu Kadzo.
“I had returned from the nearby market where I had gone to help my mum sell mandazi in the morning. I left my younger sister taking tea alongside my young brother Faizal Kura.
They were to proceed to school thereafter but I later learnt that she returned home on her way to school and committed suicide,” she said.
The deceased’s father Kura Kalume said her daughter was a pupil at Amani Primary School and was supposed to proceed to Class Seven when schools re-opened on Monday but was ordered to repeat Class Six for performing poorly.
He asked the government to take action against the school headteacher for going against the education policy which bans teachers from forcing learners to repeat class.
However, Amani Primary School headteacher Ali Abdalla denied the claims saying the girl had not reported to school since they opened on Monday.
Abdalla said the girl had scored 207 out of 500 and no one had asked her to repeat class.
However, it emerged the school has been forcing those proceeding to Class Seven and Eight to repeat if they scored below 250 marks in their aggregate 2019 scores for three terms.
A parent, who spoke in confidence for fear of her children who study at the same school being victimised, said several other pupils who had been forced to repeat were ordered to proceed to next class when news of the incident broke.
In the second incident, a 13-year-old boy committed suicide in Muteithia village, Naivasha after reportedly falling out with his parents.
The body of the Class Six pupil at Koinange Primary School was found hanging from a tree within the family home compound hours after. He had refused to report on Monday.
There were conflicting reports over the cause of the suicide with some relatives indicating the minor was against a move to repeat class.
However, other reports indicated that the deceased had told his parents he was no longer interested in going back to school.
Naivasha OCPD Samuel Waweru said the body was taken to the area mortuary, adding: “We have opened an inquest file as it’s the norm following the suicide incident and this will help us in our investigations.”