No Teacher Has the Right to Abuse a Student
Children are the most innocent and pure souls but to encroach and abuse them is despicable. In the recent news headlines such as “teacher caned students; girl stripped by boys; head teacher defiled” and so have been shocking. There could be two things, maybe this has been going on for decades especially in rural schools and now with the better access that media has, the stories are coming out. Or with the smartphones and exposure on the Internet, students and parents are realizing they have a voice. That is why they deserve the right to decide the punishment their child deserves for any disobedient.
But what can be disobedience to you may not be the same for me. Thus, the basic guidelines are where we need to meet halfway. If a child is naughty, disrupting the class, a bully, not doing homework then these are quite normal with any child and they require co-operation not corporal punishment. A teacher can change the life of a student, some of the most successful people have met at least one teacher in their life that told them not to care about what people told them or that they can do it. The teacher is responsible and the school, its board, the parents all is responsible. Who is checking their character? Each has to work in correlation to make sure they don’t slip up. We are human and teachers can have their struggles but they are certainly not allowed to take it out on the children in any form and especially not sexual abuse.
A school girl was stripped by the boys and caned by the Head Teacher in Kisumu because he claims she was having an affair and deserved to be punished. Seriously? Who gives him the right to decide this horrendous punishment and to interfere in a child’s life like that? What happened to her parents? Teachers who are taking advantage of uneducated parents should watch out, because what goes round comes round. Doesn’t mean you have a certificate that gives you the licence to treat students to your pleasure. Parents have a voice and no mother or father will stand that their child is abused and humiliated like that.
The sad thing is that the problem doesn’t remain in the school but in an incident again in Kisumu the Chief of the area took advantage of an orphan who was living with an old lady and on Sundays did the chores. When the old lady was away the Chief took full advantage and the girl was only in Standard Six. Reading about these incidents makes me sick in the stomach, that these men are preying around. It has been said that the Teachers Service Commission will next year begin talks on what best punishment should teachers get and that students will be allowed to participate.
Such teachers should be kept in solitary confinement and naked if need be to feel the pain they caused the child. Yes I believe a child does deserve a slap especially in this urban environment. Children are sometimes so picky, insensitive, rude and always moaning, complaining of what they don’t have. A slap with caution can go a long way to straighten them out for life. But any parent who participates like these teachers or chiefs also deserves solitary confinement. However is the child capable of deciding the type of punishment their teacher deserves? This effort requires so much more education with the parents and an open dialogue from older/former students to guide their younger brothers and sisters and save them from hell. They go to school to study and not drown in disgust.
“The Kenyan government banned corporal punishment in Kenyan schools in 2001 and enacted the Children’s Act (Government of Kenya, 2001) which entitles children to protection from all forms of abuse and violence.
Corporal punishment in schools is, therefore, illegal in Kenya.
The Education Bill (2012) states in Article 35 that “no pupil shall be subjected to torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, in any manner whether physical or psychological”, and that a person who contravenes these provisions “commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding Sh100,000 or to imprisonment not exceeding six months, or both”.” (Source The Daily Nation).
A teacher is a role model for the child, the village, the city and the country. If a teacher fails, the entire nation fails.