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Government orders probe into Nyabururu Girls student beatings

By Kevine Omollo | Oct 13th 2016 | 3 min read
A student of Nyabururu Girls School shows an injury she suffered after she was whipped by teachers. (Photo: Denish Ochieng/Standard)

Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has ordered a probe into allegations of student battery in Nyabururu Girls National School.

This follows complaints by parents whose daughters are nursing serious injuries allegedly inflicted by a group dubbed ‘massacre teachers’ by students.

Nyanza Regional Education Co-ordinator Richard Chepkawai Wednesday confirmed he had received instructions from the CS to interrogate school principal Emelda Ochenge and other stakeholders, and give a report on the situation.

Ms Ochenge declined to respond to our questions about the allegations.

“I am headed for Kisii now to interrogate the situation, but my officers on the ground are already in the school to start piecing together information,” said Mr Chepkawai in an interview with The Standard in his Kisumu office.

Transfer students

Four cases investigated by The Standard indicate that some parents had opted to transfer their children to other schools.

The latest incident involved a Form One student who is nursing injuries on her upper right arm allegedly inflicted by a teacher who beat her using a computer cable.

The student’s father, Enock Kerama, said he travelled from Nairobi to the school to verify his daughter’s condition after he was tipped off about the incident by a school worker.

According to Mr Kerama, a worker in the school phoned him after seeing the wound on the girl’s arm four days after the beating.

But when he tried to reach the school administration to get clarification on the incident, his phone calls went unanswered, forcing him to travel to the school.

“I was denied entry into the school and told to go back home despite the fact that the girl had not been taken to hospital,” he said.

Another parent, a police officer based in Kisii County with a daughter in Form Four, said her daughter was still on medication for an injury on her ankle inflicted when she allegedly jumped a queue at meal time.

“For the fourth month now, my daughter is on medication but she can now walk. My child is in her final year and will be sitting her final examinations so I did not want to get into issues that could destabilise her studies,” said the parent.

And a Form Three student (name withheld) allegedly had her finger broken after failing a physics test. A source inside the institution said the student’s finger was fractured when she tried to block the teacher from hitting her on the head.

Another parent, Steve Ondimu, transferred his Form Three daughter to Pangani Girls’ High School in Nairobi early this term after she sustained injuries on her buttocks and lower limbs.

Kept waiting

Mr Ondimu said he was kept waiting at the gate for two hours before he could see his daughter, whom he said was in bad condition.

“She could not even sit down and it is laughable that when they denied me entry I sought the help of the area OCS, who was also denied entry. We eventually used force to enter the school compound,” said Ondimu.

“My daughter told me she had been subjected to victimisation and ridicule by teachers and lost her concentration in class. I had to transfer her,” he added.

The school principal is also accused of introducing illegal fees, some of which are not receipted but collected at the gate.

Chepkawai confirmed several concerns had been raised against the school management.

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