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Schools unrest: Magoha out of order, Sossion says on reintroduction of caning debate

By Betty Njeru | Dec 8th 2021 | 2 min read

Former KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion in Sotik, Bomet County. [Gilbert Kimutai, Standard]

Former Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Secretary-General Wilson Sossion has blamed poor leadership in the Education sector on the prevailing indiscipline in schools.

Sossion, appearing on KTN News on Tuesday evening, claimed that the education docket has been neglected for far too long, with little to no progress to show for.

“Kenya’s education sector is craving very bold leadership. If we don’t fix it, we will continue going round in circles,” he said.

The nominated MP, who is opposed to the reintroduction of caning in schools, called out Education Cabinet Secretary Prof. George Magoha for supporting the return of corporal punishment in learning centres, terming it “an admission of failure.”

 “The CS should be declared completely out of order, especially when he talks of reintroducing the cane… which Kenya, as a signatory to the UN international convention, signed to outlaw. It is an admission of failure,” he said.

He continued that both the Education and Interior ministers had failed in their jobs, considering the rampant cases of unrest and school fires witnessed in past weeks.

“As we witness the escalation of schools burning, and we look at the language, demeanor of the minister for education and interior, it tells us that we have a lot of homework to do.”

Usawa Agenda Executive Director Dr. Emmanuel Manyasa said Education stakeholders would be wrong in using outdated laws to reintroduce caning in schools.

“We can’t claim to use laws made in the 70s. Why do you want to introduce caning for every child, to pay for offenses of only a few?” he posed.

Manyasa echoed Sossion’s argument that the biggest challenge in the sector is leadership, which he said: “goes beyond the Ministry of Education.”

Education CS Magoha and his Interior counterpart Fred Matiang’i had earlier said caning of errant students could be the answer to a recent spate of incidents in schools countrywide, which have seen some institutions suffer arson attacks.

But the recommendations have been opposed by some education stakeholders, who are calling for a national dialogue to discuss issues affecting public schools.

Matiang’i has, on his part, warned that no student found guilty should be spared. 

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