The scare of corporal punishment pushing learners out of school


Even after corporal punishment was outlawed in 2001, students continue to suffer this scourge in silence with clips doing rounds on social media telling their story and experts raising a red flag on the negative effects of such reprimand on the child.

Five year old Joseph Kamau (real identity withheld) from Mataara village in Kiambu County is nursing severe injuries sustained in the name of punishment.

Kamau has just been discharged from hospital after a series of surgeries after his teacher repeatedly assaulted him on his private parts.

Speaking exclusively to Citizen Digital, 26 year old Rose Wanja, a mother of two, tells us how she came to learn about her son’s then deteriorating health due to beatings received in school.

“The first time I noticed something unsual about my son was when he came home with a small scar on his head. I did not think much of it and so I dismissed it,” she narrated.

The trips to school would see Kamau, a pupil at Mataara Primary School, become an introvert and every time his mother inquired, he would remain silent.

According to his mother, Kamau had been assaulted repeatedly and with the five year old not understanding fully how his health had deteriorated, kept mum about the happenings in school.

It was not until one February morning when his mother insisted that he removes his clothes for her to clean them that she noticed the marks on his legs, back and most severe ones on his private parts.

The teacher would later offer to foot his medical bills after admitting to the act.

The five year old, who had been hospitalized for the last three weeks and has to continue with treatment for another year, has since had his kidneys affected because of what we came to learn were blows on his stomach from his nursery school teacher.

The school that was to further the child’s knowledge became a hub of pain as Kamau narrated to us how his teacher threatened to kill him if he talked about the punishment.

“Should any teacher really beat my child like this?” This is the question in this young mother’s mind even as her child thankfully makes progress in his health.

The case was reported at Kia Mwangi police station and the accused has since been arraigned in court and is out on bond. Efforts to reach her bore no fruit.

Has corporal punishment trickled back in our schools?

As several videos continue to make rounds on social media, education experts now say that despite the ban corporal punishment is rife in rural schools.

“This is illegal but it is still happening in our schools something needs to be done.” Says Dr Emmauel Manyasa, education expert

A video on social media showed children baring the blunt of corporal punishment allegedly at Thiririka school in Juja.

In yet another video, students at Mwimbi Primary School in Meru are seen lying on the floor while a teacher is beating using a rubber pipe.

Sixteen years later, nothing much has changed and while most students suffer of its consequences in silence experts are now linking this to the recent rise of bullying in high schools.

“Most families would just treat the child and take him back. It’s the TSC and the ministry to ensure they implement, its not happening,” Manyasa adds.

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Story By Wangui Ngechu
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