Pupil, 14, who hang self after period shame at school buried
Teacher’s roleAmong the mourners was area MP Kiptergech Mutai, who called on the Ministry of Education to investigate the role of Chepng’eno’s teacher in her suicide. “One of Chepng’eno’s teachers has been adversely mentioned as being the reason why she committed suicide. The Ministry of Education must come out clearly on the allegation. No other girl should be period-shamed ever again,” he said. Mr Mutai called on the teacher to come out and clear her name. “Chepng’eno’s family would like to hear her version of the story and if she proves that she is blameless, the story will end there. If not, she will have to undergo traditional rituals, lest the death returns to haunt her children,” said the Bureti MP. The MP also called on the Government to compensate Chepng’eno’s family. “The Ministry of Education should take full responsibility,” he said. According to the MP, Chepng’eno’s death highlighted the need for the Government to supply free sanitary towels in schools. “Sanitary towels should be made readily available. The ministry has been allocated adequate funds to include the provision of the items as part of the free education. In essence, we should not be having schools without sanitary towels,” he said. Mutai called on the Ministry of Education to ensure all teachers underwent refresher courses to understand girls who reach puberty. Human rights activist Lillian Cheptiony condemned the poor state of Chepng’eno’s school and appealed to Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha to visit it. “The classrooms do not have windows. Cows sleep in one of the classrooms. Some of the teachers have overstayed there,” she said. Mrs Cheptiony, who drew media attention to Chepng’eno’s death, accused Education officers in Bomet of plotting a cover-up. “They are yet to interview Chepng’eno’s parents. They have also been threatening me, but I will not be intimidated for fighting for the rights of girls,” she said. “I will even write to President Uhuru Kenyatta to order investigation into Chepng’eno’s death,” she said. During the burial, Gertrude Chepkemoi of Golden Heart Foundation announced that the organisation would distribute sanitary towels at Chepng’eno’s school.
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