Teachers blamed as crisis deepens

Kenya Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) chairman George Magoha and Education CS Amina Mohamed address press on 30th October 2018 at Moi Primary School during the start of KCPE exams in the country wide. [Edward Kiplimo,Standard]

Teachers and parents are on the spotlight following what education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed termed ‘shocking high rate’ of girls getting pregnant in schools.

Top Ministry of Education officials and senior Teachers Service Commission (TSC) officers pointed fingers at teachers, saying the tutors are behind most of the pregnancy cases. Parents have also been accused of abetting back room negotiations and accepting kick backs to protect perpetrators.

Data from the TSC reveals that in the last three years alone, some 310 teachers have been banned from practice.

In 2015, some 126 teachers were struck off the teaching roll for various vices including sexual offences.

Of these, 100 were male teachers kicked out of the profession for sexually harassing their students. In 2016, some 22 teachers were deregistered after evidence showed they sexually abused female students.

Last year, TSC announced that some 40 male teachers were blacklisted and gazetted for sexually abusing students.

And this year, 122 teachers have been deregistered by TSC pointing at a major crisis that has put school girls at high risk. Amina this week said the Ministry is concerned that a high number of candidates became mothers during the three-days of KCPE.

Safety of girls

Reports indicate that up to 20 girls gave birth during the three-day examinations, revealing the underlying worry over safety of the girl child. “If this is happening all year round, then the country could be facing a crisis,” said Amina.

“I have asked Ministry Quality Assurance and Standards directorate to work with relevant departments to investigate the extent of this situation and give me a report for further action,” said Amina. Education players have however pointed fingers at teachers for impregnating some of the girls and accused parents for not standing up to protect the girls.

TSC CEO faulted school heads for covering up the vices committed by their staff. “These are criminal acts that can be followed up and we plead with you to report these cases and avoid cover ups,” said Mrs Macharia.

Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) and the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) officials blamed the rot in society.

Knut Secretary General Wilson Sossion said the union will not defend teachers involved in the vice.

“It is unfortunate if a teacher expected to protect the child is the same who defiles them. As a union that advocates for professionalism we will not protect such cases,” said Sossion.

Kenya National Parents national chairman Nicholas Miyo asked the Ministry to arrest persons responsible for the pregnancies. “We plead with the government to support the fight even as we sensitise parents to report cases,” said Maiyo.