The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) says there is a need for boarding schools to have mandatory security features which include the installation of CCTV cameras in a bid to stamp out sexual molestation of students.
In a statement, the Union’s Secretary General Wilson Sossion stated that the institutions should also have trained security personnel, security perimeters and conduct routine checks to ensure the vice does not thrive. He also stressed the need for regular security briefings and updates to be given to students on a daily basis.
“KNUT notes with concern the growing cases of sexual molestation of boys and girls in boarding schools, the reason why we call on the Ministry to revise the Safety Standards Manual for Schools in Kenya,” he stated.
He called on the Ministry of Education to hurry up and implement the recommendation on school security made by a Task Force led by Claire Omollo. His sentiments come even as at least five male staff at the Moi Girls’ School were directed to undergo DNA testing over the alleged rape of students.
While condemning the incident at the school, Sossion stressed the need for thorough investigations to be conducted on the matter. “KNUT condemns in the strongest words possible the unfortunate incident at Moi Girls High School – Nairobi over the weekend where several girls were sexually molested. It is against this backdrop that the Union recommends high-level investigations, and the matter to be pursued to its logical conclusion,” he stated.
He recalled the fire incident at the school where 10 students were killed and stated that such heinous acts should never be tolerated.
“The school as you might be aware is yet to fully recover from the death of 10 students last year who perished in a dormitory fire whose cause has not been unraveled to date. Culprits who perpetrate these heinous acts should be brought to book and subjected to stiff punishment,” he said.
“School-related gender violence must be dealt with expeditiously without mercy even if it involves staff members. The investigating agencies, however, should not rush to determinations and conclusions with the aim of sacrificing the school Principal or teachers.”
Even before the dust settled on the Moi Girls School incident, Mbita MP Millie Odhiambo reported another similar incident in her constituency.
Addressing a media briefing at Parliament Buildings on Monday, Odhiambo said she was notified about the incident by the constituency sub-county security team that a man was found hiding in one of the girl’s dormitories at Rusinga Girls School on Saturday, raising concerns on the safety of the girl’s in boarding schools across the country.
The lawmaker termed the incident as worrisome and asked the government to handle the issue with a lot of seriousness that it deserves cautioning that if treated casually it may encourage other culprits to pursue the act in other schools.
This article was first published on Capital News and was written by Simon Ndonga.