Couple arrested for failure to take four children to school

Solomon Orwa and his wife Eunice Akoth at Bondeni police station arrested after refusing to enroll their children in school. [Caroline Chebet|Standard]

A couple has been arrested in Nakuru over claims they have denied their four children the right to education.

Solomon Orwa and his wife, Eunice Akoth were arrested after village elders in Lakeview Estate notified the police of their actions that have a religious bearing.

According to the assistant chief George Ng’anga, the four children had been locked in the couple's house for more than six months.

The chief told Sunday Standard that the minors had dropped out of school in July, last year, and had never attended class ever since.

“We received the information from village elders and neighbours that the children have never attended school and were locked inside their house every day where they were taught the Bible,” said Ng’ang’a.

Top performer

The accused said they were doing so because education was not allowed by their religion.

Akoth claimed the Constitution of Kenya gave them the right to profess religion of their choice without discrimination from the public.

“Education is not included in religion. I stopped my children from going to school because it diverted their focus from God,” she said.

When asked why they missed classes, their 13-year-old son said they stopped going to school after they were told by their parents that education was against their faith.

The minor, who was to sit his Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examination this year, said they were taught religious doctrines by their mother every day.

“We are taught by our mother about the Bible from Monday to Sunday. We also don’t go to church and are not allowed to have friends who go to school because it is against our religion,” he said.

According to records, the minor was a top performer in his previous school.

His two siblings who were in Standard One and Five were also forced to drop out of school.

The chief, however, condemned the parents' action, saying it went against the Constitution that guarantees every child a right to education.

“Parents should not use religion as an excuse to deny their children education,” he said.

Nakuru OCPD Samuel Obara warned other parents who denied their children a right to education that they risked being arrested.

“It is wrong to deny a child education. Action will be taken against such parents,” said the police boss.

The four children were taken to New Life Children’s Home in Nakuru as police conducted investigations.