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1,077 sex pest teachers sacked in the last 8 years, says TSC

TSC CEO Nancy Macharia when she appeared before the National Assembly Education Committee. [Boniface Okendo/Standard]

1,077 teachers have been struck off the register in the last eight years over immoral behavior towards students.

In a report presented before the Senate Standing Committee on Education, Teachers Service Commission boss Nancy Macharia tabled a list of six counties with the highest numbers.

Kakamega topped the list with 88 cases followed by Kisii (61) and Homabay (60). Kitui, Bungoma and Siaya counties have 53, 47 and 46 cases respectively.

The report also indicated that TSC had upheld the removal of 279 from the teachers register despite their attempt to have their cases reviewed.

Ms Macharia told the committee that none of the teachers affected will be allowed to teach in any school in the country.

She said TSC was protected under the Code of Regulations for Teachers to proceed with its disciplinary action against teachers whose criminal proceedings are either pending before a court of law or acquitted for an offence which the commission is handling.

"The commission has liaised with law enforcement agencies to undertake criminal justice process against the offenders while proceeding with the disciplinary process," she said adding that it was aimed at removing sex pests from the teaching service.

Section 30 of the act states, "The commission deregisters teachers who have committed a sexual offence against a pupil or student."

Macharia said despite the existence of sound legal framework, sex pests continue to take advantage of the tender age of learners to prey on them.

She said many cases went unreported because of ignorance of parents and guardians and the cultural challenges in some communities that frustrate efforts to prosecute sex offenders.

 As sacked teachers face the consequences of their sexual misconduct, its union, Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) vowed to take stern action on teachers accused of immoral behavior.

KNUT said day schooling girls were more vulnerable to abuse as bodaboda riders give them lifts to solicit sex in return.

Further, the union suggested that the Government should introduce school feeding programme to restrict movement of girls who fall victims as predators mislead them by buying them lunch.

The union also wants the ministry of education to provide sanitary towels, address child labour and devise ways of making learners busy during long holidays to cushion them from temptations from sex pests.

The presentations were made when education stakeholders appeared before the committee led by Bomet Senator Christopher Langat seeking to discuss how to curb Teenage pregnancies.

Others stakeholders who presented, National Council of Churches in Kenya (NCCK), Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB), and the Muslim Education Council.

KCCB said that 250 cases of child abuse had been handled in Malindi Diocese including child prostitution, sex tourism, incest, child marriage and defilement.

Between 2016 to 2018, Kitale Diocese had dealt with 21 defilement cases all of which had been prosecuted.

In Homabay 308 cases had been recorded since 2016.

"It's noted that all these cases are far below the reality given the culture of silence, compromise, fear and local arrangements,  that discourage reporting of defilement cases," said KCCB secretary general of education commission Augusta Muthingani.

The clergy sharply criticized a sex education curriculum in the pipeline with NCCK Deputy General Secretary Nelson Makanda saying the curriculum promoted "sexuality as a right."

"The curriculum promotes sexuality as a right which is extremely worrying ... If you look at the areas where it's being implemented there are very high numbers of immoral behavior among teens," he said.

KCCB also in their presentation lamented that the curriculum would promote the use of contraceptives among teens.

Hassan Kinyua from the Muslim Education Council said a study they had conducted found out that the causes of school teen pregnancies included poverty, peer pressure and neglect of the boy child.

Conspicuously missing was the Ministry of Education which Langat said the committee had quarrels with. Interior CS Fred Matiangi had also been invited but didn't appear.

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