Principals asked to be lenient when disciplining students

National Chairman, Kenya Secondary Schools heads Association, Indimuli Kahi addresses teachers during Kenya Secondary Schools heads Association 46th annual conference at Sheikh Zayed hall in Mombasa. [Omondi Onyango, Standard]

The Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association (KESSHA) has pleaded with school principals to be lenient when disciplining students.

Speaking at the 46th annual Kenya Secondary School Headteacher’s conference in Mombasa, KESSHA chair Indimuli Kahi said that teachers should adhere to the laws incorporated in the corporal punishment act.

“I would like to ask all of us to be very careful on issues of corporal punishment to avoid finding ourselves in the mix. We are pushing for the development of regulations to operationalize the Students’ Act in the Children’s Act in Education,” Indimuli said.

Indimuli cited an incident where three teachers in his school were suspended and interdicted following a complaint by a parent to the teachers hiring body over the punishment of a student.

“A parent went and exaggeratedly reported to TSC and finally, the teachers were interdicted and then suspended,” he said.

The KESSHA chair added that teachers were finding themselves being punished more with the act urging them to acquaint themselves more with the laws.

He also called on the parents to take on responsibility by bringing their children to school and handing them over to the teachers as per the law states.

He also highlighted some plights of teachers in the course of delivering their services.

The school heads have asked for an adjustment in the procedure of selecting courses for students saying that the Ministry has been cutting off students’ dreams of pursuing courses of interest because of the cluster points.

“It’s very punitive for a child to be punished twice for the same mistake. A child didn’t get a good grade in English or Kiswahili but has good grades in areas that can allow this learner to pursue other courses of interest but because of the barrier of not getting good grades in Mathematics or English, then mean grade forces that child to get a low grade,” he said.

The school heads also recommended that the Ministry of Education should adopt the biometric data and integrate it into the National Education Management Information System (NEMIS) system to resolve student funding challenges.

Indimuli while proposing on behalf of teachers has asked the ministry to allow principals to attend special events outside the country.

“We are pushing and requesting the employer that on special cases especially where there are partnerships, conferences overseas or outside Kenya principals should be allowed to attend because the school can still work with the deputies and other senior teachers,” he asked.

Additionally, the school heads recommended that the clause of “once you enter the teaching profession you should exit when your health deteriorates” should be reviewed to allow one to keep serving as a teacher and the responsibilities be designated to a colleague.