Separate schools for unruly learners proposed, Kenya

Since schools in Kenya reopened in January, there have been at least 20 schools that have reported incidents of fire or student unrest. 

This prompted education experts and stakeholders in the country to meet and discuss how they can address unruly learners who have paralyzed schools across the country.  The meeting proposed that unruly learners should be placed in separate schools, that will act as rehabilitation and learning centers.

Punishing unrly learners

The meeting, which was attended by officials from the Ministry of Education, the National Parents Association, Usawa Agenda, Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association and non-state actor,  noted that, if the problem about unruly students across the country was to be addressed, stringent measures needed to be implemented to nip the worrying trend in the bud.

In a statement, education experts and stakeholders said that the separate schools would only address severe cases where teachers and parents had tried and failed in disciplining unruly students. They added that students taken in these separate schools would still continue with their education. However, their syllabus would also contain character formation, and if that meant that students would take longer to complete the syllabus, they were willing to take that risk.

However, the experts and stakeholders ruled out the possibility of bringing back corporal punishment in school, arguing that it would not help them achieve discipline in schools. They added that the aim of separate schools was to teach students that violence was not always the solution adding that by caning them, it would show the students that rushing out at people when wronged was the right way to deal with situations.

Usawa Agenda leader Emmanuel Manyasa added that schools shouldn’t be caning students because that was what got the country in the situation they were in today.

Other measures proposed by the experts and stakeholders included increasing surveillance in schools by doubling on duty teachers, not pressuring students for exams and easing tough rules for exams, a contributing factor for the recent strikes.