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Special report: Why students join criminal gangs

By Augustine Oduor | Published Mon, June 5th 2017 at 00:00, Updated June 4th 2017 at 20:23 GMT +3
The report says students join bad groups and criminal gangs to make money and to fight

Absentee parents, peer pressure, poverty and attempts to cope with rejection were cited among factors driving students to join criminal gangs.

A report compiled by a special team set up by the Ministry of Education to investigate a wave of arson that hit schools last year found that students join terrorist organisations and criminal gangs because of peer pressure, heroism, lack of guidance and poverty.

"Some parents were also reported to have been regularly absent from homes and therefore not available for their children. In the absence of necessary guidance, the children were left on their own to learn from their peers or any other persons whom they interacted with," stated the team in its report.

Some players plainly reported that indiscipline in schools was mainly as a result of poor parenting.

The report says that some schools were so preoccupied with academic programmes that they had little or no time to attend to students' social needs.

The report says students join bad groups and criminal gangs to make money and to fight rejection.


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The report states an analysis of the data pointed to the fact that there was an understanding of the concept of devil worship.

"During the investigation, the team noted narratives pointing to existence of devil worship in schools. For instance, 48 out of 703 students admitted the existence of devil worship," reads the report.

In one primary school, the report says, some pupils who confessed to be devil worshippers had tattoos on their bodies.

"Other self-confessed devil worshippers wore rings and chains believed to have protective powers and which they claimed were sources of their strength," says report.

The team also said during their investigations, players reported existence of lesbianism and homosexuality among students.

"It was said to be common in cases where students shared beds as a result of congestion in the dormitories," states the report.

The report says senior students lured or forced other students into the practice.

"In mixed schools there was coupling among students and tendencies of others sneaking out of school, which further aggravated the situation," states the report.


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