By Linah Benyawa
Head teachers attending the Annual Delegates Conference in Mombasa were momentarily silenced by a pupil from Wajir County who literally transformed the meeting hall into a courtroom.
Jamila Mohammed, 15, a Standard Eight pupil at Wajir Primary School, showed the head teachers her prosecutorial prowess to demonstrate to them how to deal with unruly students.
The packed room was silent as she spoke. Occasionally, the teachers erupted in laughter before ‘observing silence in the courtroom’.
She commanded respect – only that this time it was from her teachers and not the students she deals with.
The ‘prosecutor’, or ‘Ocampo’ as her fellow students and teachers call her, illustrated to the head teachers how she ensures she wins her cases to ‘convict’ offenders.
Through the court system in her school, virtues of discipline and good character have been instilled in the students. The system uses dialogue as an alternative measure of restoring discipline in schools.
“I am a prosecutor, and I don’t entertain indiscipline. So I don’t rest until the suspects (unruly students) are convicted,” explained Mohammed.
She continued: “The system has been a major milestone in ensuring there is discipline in our school. As a result, performance has improved.”
Once a complaint is brought to her attention, she writes it down in a black book and immediately embarks on collecting evidence.
With substantial evidence against the accused student collected, Ocampo forwards the case to the court room – a special room that has been set aside by the school to hear cases on a weekly basis.