Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed has opposed the proposal to reintroduce caning in schools to curb increasing cases of indiscipline.
Ms Mohamed on Wednesday said corporal punishment violates students’ rights.
“I don’t support the proposal to have corporal punishment reintroduced; there are other ways of dealing with unrest in schools such as developing elaborate framework that will enable us engage with learners with aim of getting to the bottom of the matter,” Ms Mohamed said during the launch of the Board of Management (BOM) Training Manual at the Kenya Education Management Institute in Nairobi.
Various facilities in more than 40 secondary schools have been destroyed by fires in recent weeks, leading to indefinite closure of many.
“Even if Parliament amends the law to have caning introduced in schools, I will not support it on personal grounds. I don’t want to be blamed in future for introducing punishment that will harm our children,” she added.
Speaking on Tuesday at St Eliza’s Girls’ Secondary School Kabichbich, West Pokot County, Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa said he is considering tabling a bill in Parliament seeking to bring caning into effect again.
Mr Wamalwa argued that caning would end indiscipline cases such as burning of dormitories.
The Cabinet secretary attributed students’ unrest to panic over the national examinations scheduled to begin on October and November.
She also blamed boards of management for poor leadership.
“I urge BOM across the counties to pay particular attention to the disturbing cases of indiscipline in our schools.
“Some of these cases are attributed to poor management, and school boards need to work closely with teachers, students and parents in order to get to the bottom of indiscipline,” she said.
“We must ensure that cases of indiscipline are firmly handled at institutional level while adhering to legal framework and policy provisions in the education sector.”
Some of the affected schools are St Peters Kuna Mixed Secondary School (Migori), Moi Nyabohanse Girls Secondary School (Migori County), St Joseph’s Rapogi High School (Migori County), Madogo Secondary School (Tana River County), Babla Kang’aru Secondary School (Kirinyaga County) and Highway Secondary School in Nairobi County.