Teachers want rules backed by law to curb student indiscipline

Teachers take a selfie after a session during the 45th KCB/Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association KESSHA Annual National Conference of Principals and Exhibition at Sheikh Zayed Hall in Mombasa County on Monday, April 18, 2022. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

Head teachers want the government to formulate rules anchored in law to address indiscipline in schools.

Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association (Kessha) chairman Kahi Indimuli yesterday said currently there is no law that makes students accountable for their actions.

“Students are not accountable for whatever they do in school. They break up things, burn schools and later walk free because we have no law which makes them responsible for their deeds,” said Mr Indimuli.

He added: "The Children's Act should be synchronised with school guidelines dealing with student indiscipline to ensure that the punishment given to such students is guided by law."

He said in most cases, the Children's Act has been used to punish teachers when found on the wrong but children go scot-free.

Mr Indimuli asked parents to contribute ideas in helping teachers address indiscipline in schools.

The chairman also asked parents to discipline their children and not leave the task to teachers alone.

"Parents like blaming teachers over indiscipline but they are equally to blame," Mr Indimuli noted.

The Kessha chair spoke during a conference in Mombasa attended by 9,000 head teachers. The conference had not been held since 2020 following the outbreak of Covid-19 in March of that year. The event is being held at Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan School and will end on Friday.

This year’s theme is on re-examining education following the introduction of Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC).

Mr Indimuli said the head teachers will discuss challenges in CBC and how to resolve issues surrounding the implementation of the new curriculum.

“We want to discuss what is expected of us as the heads of learning institutions and know if we are ready for Grade Seven next year,” said Kahi.

He said since pupils will be joining junior secondary next year, head teachers want to brainstorm to find the best solutions in implementing CBC.

Mr Indimuli said head teachers also want the government to address recruitment and training of the teachers in CBC.

He said head teachers want parents to be involved in the development of school infrastructure but explained that this will only happen after consultations with the parents.

“We have representatives of parents association officials in the conference so that they can fully participate in this discussion to enable us move forward without leaving others,” said Mr Indimuli.

The chairman said the secondary schools head teachers want the government to come up with a clear policy on how to manage pandemics without closing schools as was the case when Covid-19 struck.

“Covid-19 exposed us as people not prepared for bad things and that is why we now want the government to address the issue of technology in the education sector so that when such things happen we have ways of addressing them without closing the schools.”

He said the government should introduce digital learning in all schools so that when such pandemics hit, every child should have access to virtual learning as opposed to two years ago when only a few students learnt virtually.

Kessha national secretary Willie Kuria said diminishing parental involvement in school infrastructure development was worrying.

"Restrictive caveats placed on levies by the government is bad for schools' development agenda," said Mr Kuria.

He decried the disquiet on the level of preparedness on CBC implementation in secondary schools, which has been caused by claims of inadequate infrastructure.