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Sossion Opposes Caning of Learners, wants Abolishment of Boarding Schools

The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Secretary-General Wilson Sossion has urged the government to abolish boarding schools in Kenya to prevent the increase in the number of assault and arson cases on teachers and other school staff since the beginning of this year.

KNUT has also opposed the reintroduction of corporal punishment on learners who are embroiled with cases of indiscipline in schools, saying that this leaves the safety of teachers at risk.

KNUT Sec-General Wilson Sossion spoke to the media while at Afraha High School in Nakuru after KNUT members conducted elections of union officials from eleven counties.

Sossion said that abolishing boarding schools will make it cheaper and more affordable for parents to pay school fees and also help them to spend more time with their children. The Union believes that this shall promote holistic growth which might not be achieved in the current setup.

“Parents have a great responsibility in the upbringing of their children. It is time we abolish boarding schools so that parents can take care of their children. Last year’s long break has exposed how parents have neglected their roles in parenting,” said Sossion.

“We want parents to regain their skills in parenting. The work of teachers is to impart knowledge and values to learners between 8 am and 5 pm. This should be the best reforms alongside employing more teachers and ensuring we have state of the art facilities in the schools,” added Sossion.

He said that even though the proposal is likely to have resistance from the private sector, they should see the matter from a wide perspective in the interest of teachers, learners, and business.

“We know this is a lucrative business. If the investors do not agree, they should be ready for the chaos experienced in the last few weeks of arson and assault that have left schools counting losses,” said Sossion.

He noted that first-world countries have fully adopted the day school system calling for Kenyans to change their view on boarding schools at the expense of proper upbringing and the quality of education.

“Europe and the United States have been doing this. We should not keep living with the mentality of colonial times that girls should be confined in schools to avoid circumcision and boys to be stopped from engaging in cattle rustling and other similar activities,” said the KNUT sec-gen.

The recent almost-spontaneous burning down of schools and learner attacks on teachers made education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha recommend the return of caning of learners as punishment.

KNUT has rejected the move saying that this will prove counterproductive and advised individual teachers not to use such measures for the sake of their own safety.

“If the government believes that caning will change badly brought up children, let them station for that purpose. These teenagers will begin mass killings of teachers. It is also against the rights of children which as a country we stand for,” said Wilson Sossion.

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