Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has ordered swift punishment for teachers who were filmed caning students.
Dr Matiang’i, who made an impromptu visit to Keveye Girls Secondary School in Vihiga on Thursday, said he was moved by media reports about heavy caning at the school in Western Kenya.
He directed the school’s board of management, the county education directors and the Teachers Service Commission to hold a meeting and report to him by Monday next week.
“The incident of caning will be addressed. The officials will look into the matter. I would like to deal with this matter in a professional way considering the code of conduct and ethics,” he said.
The story was carried in the Daily Nation on Thursday in its online and print editions. The footage posted on Facebook on Tuesday shows four teachers — three men and a woman — caning the students in the school’s staff room.
The terrified students look like cows herded into a slaughterhouse as they wait in line for their turn.
CASE OF ASSAULT
The video, whose authenticity the Nation could not verify, was recorded last year just before the schools closed for December holidays, but only surfaced this week.
“I can’t come all the way from the headquarters and nothing happens. Action must be taken based on the report I will be given on Monday. I will not discuss details here,” Dr Matiang’i told journalists after a 15-minute closed door meeting with the school’s principal, Mrs Judith Ngome, and the teachers.
Dr Matiang’i, who went round the classes and the dormitories, was accompanied by senior education officials.
“This dorm is congested and if God forbid, an emergency occurs; it will be very difficult in here,” he said and ordered the school to address the problem.
Former Law Society chairman Paul Wamae demanded that the case be handed over to police, describing it as a case of assault.
Kenya National Union of Post Primary Education Teachers chairman Omboko Milemba said the video was taken last year and could therefore not be used as a basis to punish the teachers.
“We ask Dr Matiang’i to stop harassing teachers and concentrate on policy issues. We have instructed our lawyers to pick up the matter. We shall ask teachers to boycott work for two days in the country to send warning to the Cabinet Secretary.”