Students Sneaking Out of School For Political Rallies.
Secondary students are sneaking out of school to attend political rallies for monetary gain, according to players in the Isiolo education sector.
They stated that students usually disappear in the afternoons when most teachers are not interested in determining who is missing from class.
Ismael Galma, chair of the county parents association, said that high rates of absenteeism in day secondary schools in Isiolo town and its environs had been reported in the previous month.
Mr. Galma proposed that politicians limit their campaigning to weekends.
The stakeholders also want to know why principals are failing to address the issue, which they say will have a negative impact on performance.
Mr Galma stated that he and the association’s treasurer, Lydia Ntinyari, had established that the students carry civilian clothes in their bags and wear them during rallies.
Ms Ntinyari stated that school administrators must conduct headcounts in the morning, mid-morning, and afternoon to ensure that all students are present.
“Teachers and principals should conduct regular checks to establish those not in school and then notify their parents for action,” the official said.
She believes that the money given to students by politicians at rallies may encourage drug and substance abuse among children.
“We are afraid they could use the money that ranges from Sh500 to Sh2,000 to buy drugs and ruin their lives,” she added.
In a press conference in Isiolo, the two urged education officials and the Teachers Service Commission to step in.
County Director of Education James Nyaga stated that the complaints had been received and were being investigated.
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“We have asked the school management to conduct morning and afternoon headcounts,” he told the Nation.
Mwenda Thuranira (PNU), MP candidate for Isiolo North, has condemned the practice of youths hanging on politicians’ vehicles and endangering their lives.
Keep children away from campaigns
Lamu’s child rights advocates are concerned about the growing involvement and presence of children in political campaigns.
The Lamu Child Protection Initiative has requested that relevant authorities take legal action against those who use children in campaigns.
Parents have also been blamed for failing to protect their children, which could endanger them.
According to Chairperson Abdulaziz Sadiq, the situation puts the child’s life in jeopardy if things go wrong.
According to him, the organization has observed children as young as five years old being brought to political rallies or forced to campaign on the streets for specific politicians.
According to Sadiq, the political climate in the country is not a safe environment for children, and parents must ensure that their children are safe away from the rallies.
According to the child officer, the country has seen riots during political rallies on several occasions, and it is easy for children to become victims and even casualties in worst-case scenarios.
“We need to protect our children. They shouldn’t be attending rallies whether alone or in the company of parents or guardians. Their safety during this period should matter,” he said.
For several hours, groups of children on Lamu Island have been seen running around holding campaign posters for various politicians.
He reminded politicians, parents, and the entire Lamu community of children’s rights, saying that forcing children to do anything else is abuse and a violation of their rights.
According to the official, politicians should hire mature professionals for their campaigns and keep children out of such matters.
“The constitution is very clear on who a child is and the rights they enjoy,” Sadiq said.
He stated that the child rights organization is in discussions with relevant authorities in order to take harsh action against parents whose children are found in such situations.
Lamu county commissioner Irungu Macharia stated that politicians who use children in their campaigns will be dealt with harshly.
Macharia stated that investigations are ongoing and that culpable politicians will serve as examples to others.
“Children don’t even have ID cards, why would you want a child present at a rally? Do you care about their safety? A lot goes on in such places. We are investigating and shall take action,” he said.