School beating leaves girl nursing severe injuries

              Triza Chebet, a Standard Seven pupil at Chemaner Primary School in Kuresoi District, is incapacitated after a head teacher allegedly assaulted her early this month. [PHOTO: BONIFACE THUKU/STANDARD]


She is determined to attain her dream of becoming an engineer despite what has befallen her.

Triza Chebet, a Standard Seven pupil at Chemaner Primary School in Kuresoi District, is incapacitated after a head teacher allegedly assaulted her early this month.

The injuries she sustained forced her to sit for her end year examinations at Chepalungu Primary School since she could not walk to Chemaner.

Chebet, 14, walks with the aid of a stick. “I want to attain my dream of becoming an engineer to enable me live a better life and support my family. I am determined to perform better like my classmates back in my school,” Chebet tells The Standard.

The head teacher caned Chebet severely inflicting injuries on different parts of her body.

Her grandfather Japheth Mwayi is worried that the teacher may have damaged her reproductive system.

“The beatings were severe. I do not know why the teacher did that. She is having difficulties in passing urine,” he says.

According to Chebet, her head teacher Joel Kosgei beat her on October 31 for dressing in a neighbouring school’s sweater.

Chebet says she borrowed the sweater from her classmate because of chilly weather.

The head teacher noticed the garment and ordered her to surrender it.

“He later called me to his officer where he beat me badly. I fainted in the process and when I regained consciousness, I found myself surrounded with other pupils at Chemaner dispensary where I was given drugs and allowed to go home,” she narrates.

Swollen body

Mwayi says he was informed about what had happened to his granddaughter and rushed to the dispensary.

The nurse assured him all would be well but her condition worsened and he was forced to seek medical attention at Molo District Hospital.

“My grandchild complained of severe back and chest pains and had a swollen body forcing me to take her to Kamwaura dispensary and later to Molo District Hospital. I informed police officers about the incident,” says Mwayi. Doctors at Molo hospital informed him Chebet had a rib injury and clotted blood in her body due to the beatings.

While the head teacher admits he caned the pupil, he absolves himself from blame saying the girl might have been sick when he punished her.

“I punished her because she broke school rules. However I do not believe my caning was that severe,” says Kosgei.

The head teacher, however, refused to explain why he took such drastic action given that caning was banned in schools.

Nakuru Human Rights Network (Nahurinet) is calling on the ministry of Education to take action against the teacher.

Nahurinet Executive Director David Kuria informed the Nakuru County Education Officer, County Commissioner and County Commander of the incident, noting corporal punishment in schools is outlawed.

Kuria says the ministry should conduct a proper investigation and ensure the rights of children are protected.

Kuresoi DEO Musikoye Angoye said he is investigating the matter.

“The officers only interviewed the head teacher and the school committee because it was raining heavily and due to inaccessible roads, they could not reach the pupil,” says the DEO.

Three kilometres

However, the school where the head teacher and the committee met the team investigating the incident is only three kilometres from Chebet’s home.

“The report as it is, states that the child was not punished by the head teacher as alleged by her parents and herself,” says the DEO.

However, he quickly adds that the ministry is conducting further investigations and that they will reach the child and the doctor who treated her before taking measures against the head teacher.

corporal punishment

“The report is one-sided and to know exactly what transpired, the child and the doctor who treated her must be interrogated.”

Parents say corporal punishment in the school is rampant and action must be taken to stop it. “The head teacher at one time beat my child because of a book forcing me to transfer her from the school,” says Nancy Tum.

Kuresoi OCPD David Wambua says police officers are investigating the issue.

“This issue is critical and we are conducting an investigation on the matter and action will be taken accordingly,” he says.