Religious Leaders, Council of elders call for re-introduction of corporal punishment
High school students from Lamu who are caught committing arson will lose their scholarships and bursaries and will be kicked out of the program indefinitely, according to the county government and the council of elders.
This comes on the heels of recent arson incidents in schools across the country, which have resulted in the destruction of property worth millions of dollars by irate students.
Lamu County has not recorded a single case of school unrest; however, county officials did not mince words in informing students of the consequences of doing so.
This year, the Lamu county government set aside Sh256 million for scholarships and bursaries for deserving students in secondary schools, universities, and colleges.
The program has benefited over 2,000 students.
Those who received 300 marks or higher on the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exam received a four-year scholarship for secondary school education.
Lamu county Education chief officer Abdalla Ahmed said that the devolved unit was keen on ensuring that only disciplined and focused students benefited from such opportunities.
He warned that any unruly behaviour among beneficiaries, whether they attend school in Lamu or elsewhere, would not be tolerated.
“Lamu has not recorded any such incidents and we are grateful for the tolerance and discipline among learners from the county. We are however warning anyone planning any form of indiscipline, that they will be the biggest losers,” Ahmed said.
The Lamu Council of Elders has advocated for the reintroduction of corporal punishment in schools as one of the solutions to the ongoing cases of unrest and fires in educational institutions.
The elders are also in favour of students who engage in indiscipline being denied county support, including having their scholarships and bursaries revoked if found culpable.
Sharif Salim, the council’s chairperson, urged the National Government Constituency Development Funds offices and the Higher Education Loans Board to band together and withdraw any funding given to students found to be involved in indiscipline incidents in secondary schools, universities, and colleges across the country.
“Why sponsor a problem to become an even bigger problem. We say the only way for this students to learn a lesson is to bring the cane back and close any channels of help towards their education so that they realise how tough it can get without such,” Salim said.
Lamu religious leaders have also backed calls for the reintroduction of corporal punishment in schools.
A pastor, Sammy Apollo, said that by abolishing corporal punishment, Kenya was attempting to emulate the West, which had backfired.
“The holy books allow for the child to be spanked from time to time. I don’t understand why people would think you can raise teenagers without a cane,” Apollo said.
Noordin Saney, the chairperson of the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya in Lamu West, said that since the cane was banned, the level of discipline in schools had decreased.
“If we don’t bring it back, we are going to keep raising a generation that is unruly and indisciplined,” Saney said.
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No pupil shall be subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, whether physical or psychological, according to Section 36 (1) of the Basic Education Act of 2013.
Teachers who have violated the directive have faced disciplinary action from the appropriate authorities.