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School on the spot as girl falls in hot water

By Kevine Omollo | September 1st 2016


Kisumu: Muhoroni police are investigating an incident in which a pupil at Ogwodo Primary School got burned in the school kitchen.

The girl sustained 40 per cent burns on her back side and upper limbs during the Tuesday noon incident.

According to witnesses, the Standard Six pupil was among three girls selected by a teacher to help prepare lunch for teachers. The male teacher sent away two of the girls and allegedly tried to sexually harass the third.

"I can remember the teacher telling the other girls to leave and I remained with him. But I cannot understand how I fell into the water. I lost consciousness and when I regained it, I found myself in severe pain and the teacher was gone," said the girl who is admitted in Masogo Sub-county Hospital.

County Director of Education Sylvestre Mulambe said the sexual harassment allegation would be handled by the police as his office looks into the matter of pupils cooking for teachers.

"Putting pupils to work that is meant for support staff is not allowed. Pupils can only engage in child work, which involves some manual work that will directly benefit them such as sweeping their classrooms or weeding flowers around their classrooms," Mr Mulambe said.

Area OCPD Muthuri Mwongera said his officers were already investigating and those involved in the incident had already recorded statements.

"The whole incident is a mystery. We assume that when the girl was cooking she could have fallen into the water front first but given that she fell backwards, we need to know under what circumstances," he said.

The school's head teacher, Buru Akello, said he was not in school when the incident occurred and was still piecing together bits of information to establish what happened.

"I have worked with the teacher involved since 2009 and we have not heard of any indiscipline or misconduct. I am in touch with my deputy who was in charge at that time to tell me what happened," said Akello.

Cooking roles

He denied claims that teachers have been assigning pupils cooking roles, adding that this was a one-off incident that occurred because the school cook was away on sick leave.

The girl's father accused the school management of trying to cover up the matter. He said teachers who were in the school compound when the incident occurred did not take the injured girl to hospital immediately.

"When I spoke to the girl Wednesday she spoke freely about what had happened. But this morning, a teacher visited her in hospital and it looks like she was coached on what to say," the father said.

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