, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Education Minister Mutula Kilonzo has said he was misquoted over remarks he made on Thursday that schoolgirls be allowed to wear mini skirts.
Speaking to Capital FM News, the Minister clarified that he meant the schoolgirls should be allowed to wear skirts that are slightly below the knee.
Kilonzo said he wanted girls liberated to the extent that when the school is deciding on the uniform, they factor in the concerns of the students.
“In the last three months that I have been in the Ministry of Education, no single student has asked to wear miniskirts and I wouldn’t allow them, I wouldn’t even accept miniskirts at work place! They are not intended for working or education but our girl child must be empowered,” he insisted.
Kilonzo added that students must be allowed to wear uniform that they are confident with and feel smart arguing that if this is not done, it undermines the concept of education as well as the right to human dignity.
“Those parents and manipulative people who have converted my statement into a command on miniskirts should have the courage to meet me in any girls’ school in the country where we can debate that issue and they will be embarrassed. The fact of the matter is that we have had a history where the girl child in Kenya is put on the sidelines. Those days are now over,” he said.
On Thursday, the Minister was quoted in the media as having come out in defence of demands by schoolgirls that they be allowed to wear short skirts.
“I am in total agreement with them (students). Why do you dress a schoolgirl like a nun? These girls do not want to be nuns; they want to be modern like Mutula!” said Kilonzo during a District Education Day at Chelilis Girls High School in Bureti.
On Monday last week, learning at Rwathia Girls Secondary School in Kangema district was disrupted after students went on strike demanding to wear miniskirts.
“We will make smart uniforms but if you do not like the uniform do not break the windows or someone’s legs; talk to us we will look into it,” said the minister.