Parents Want Male Pupils Circumcised Before Transition
On Tuesday, Prof. Stephen Kiama’s Working Party on Education heard that pre-adolescent students were vulnerable to harassment by teens seeking to experiment with anything further damaging their social development.
“I am not ready to take my child to a secondary school where they will interact with more mature students unless it is a day school set up.
Steven Mucheru lamented, “We are used to transitioning these children through circumcision and they are too young to be subjected to that at the moment.”
Peter Maina, a Wagatuigu Primary School student, admitted to shivering whenever junior secondary school was mentioned, stating that he was too young to face the near-adult adolescents.
Maina, a sixth-grader, stated, “We are too young for secondary school, and we desire to remain in primary school until we are old enough for the rite of passage.”
Peter Maina, the vice-chairman of the Nyandarua Chapter of the Kenya Secondary School Heads Association (KESSHA), acknowledged the difficulty of preventing molestation in schools, stating that young students are susceptible to psychological torment.
“Subjecting the boys to circumcision right now will be meaningless as they are too young to be aware of themselves,” regretted Maina.
The committee gathered at Ol Kalou Secondary School was informed that the facilities in the sub-county secondary schools, where parents are likely to send their children because of dread of boarding schools, were insufficient to accommodate more students.
“The crowds in our toilets and common facilities will be worsened yet our primary schools will have underutilized facilities”
Esther Wanjiru of Muhottu Secondary school remarked that teachers are already overburdened since there are so few of them and fears that they will not receive sufficient attention if another class is added.
The committee heard that the cost of secondary school would be burdensome for the government and parents due to the six-year duration.
Prof. Kiama stated that the group wanted to collect opinions on school governance, capitation, and curricula at all levels of education in order to create a unified front for the sector.
Teachers, parents, and other education stakeholders provided feedback to the Raphael Munavu committee on the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC).
Parents were at the vanguard of calling for CBC reforms on arbitrary issues.
Others argued for a thorough reform of the CBC and a return to the 8-4-4 structure.
Several parents felt that if the government thought CBC was the finest curriculum, it should cover the costs and meet all standards.
Some Taita Taveta County stakeholders disagreed, claiming that the curriculum was fair but had been made hostile by poor infrastructure, such as laboratories.
Many urged the task team to put the new curriculum on hold until adequate structures were in place.
Under the previous administration, the Ministry of Education had already begun construction of new classrooms in various schools across the country to meet the curriculum.