NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 31 – The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) says it will oppose plans to re-introduce corporal punishment in school in the wake of increased indiscipline that has led to arson cases and attacks on teachers.
Secretary-General Wilson Sossion said the announcement by Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha to bring back the cane in school is archaic.
“We are not going to accept the return of corporal punishment where teachers can put in conflict to tame learners, what will happen if it will be returned, let a police officer be posted to every school to caning the learners,” he said.
Speaking at Afraha Stadium during the branch union elections, he said teachers will not allow to cane students as it will create conflicts between them and learners whose reaction to caning might be lethal.
“It will be dangerous particularly on teenages,” Sossion said.
Magoha, in his proposal noted that corporal punishment if rightly used can significantly reduce the indiscipline cases in learning institutions at a time when school arson and attacks on teachers are on the rise.
Sossion has however, blamed the rising indiscipline cases on parents whom he said had abdicated their roles during the long COVID-19 break and that is why there was increased indiscipline and chaos in schools after the nine-month holiday.
Instead, he advised the government to abolish boarding schools to allow parents to take their rightful place in disciplining their children.
He wondered why Kenya still had boarding schools terming it as a system that was introduced by colonialists to fight Female Genital Mutilation and cattle rustling.
“We must abolish boarding schools completely and make public day school quality so that parents can take care of children after 5 pm, COVID-19 has taught us that parents have neglected their children so that we are having problems when they come back to school,” Sossion added.