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School CP - October 2001

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Daily Nation, Nairobi, 1 October 2001

Dons oppose ban on caning

By Lucas Barasa and Beauttah Omanga

The ban on caning will contribute to indiscipline in schools, two scholars said yesterday.

Professor Joseph Nyasani and Professor Meroka Mbeche said caning was a means of instilling discipline in young people.

By imposing the ban, they observed, the government was depicting teachers as enemies of their pupils.

Professor Nyasani, a philosophy scholar at the University of Nairobi, said the government should lift the ban.

Professor Mbeche, from the same university, urged parents to support caning and encourage head teachers to be strict in maintaining discipline.

The two made the remarks at the weekend at Itierio Mixed Secondary School during the Bonchari Educational Day.

Students, teachers and school managements who excelled in their work were awarded trophies and money.

The Cooper Kenya Limited managing director, Mr Charles Onyancha, expressed concern at the deteriorating educational standards in the three Kisii districts and called for consultations among stakeholders to solve the problem.

Kisii leaders were preoccupied with President Moi's succession instead of promoting the community's development.

Elsewhere, Nandi and Uasin Gishu leaders called for re-introduction of caning.

Led by former Post Bank managing director Isaiah Kiplagat, Wareng County Council chairman Richard Siele and Moi University Students Association chairman Kennedy Mak'asembo, the leaders said only caning could ensure discipline was maintained in schools.

Speaking during a harambee in aid of Kesses Secondary in Eldoret South constituency, the leaders expressed regret that education standards in the country had gone down and cases of student unrest had increased following the ban on caning.

"Our schools could easily be turned into institutions of training unruly students if caning is not re-introduced," said Mr Kiplagat, chairman of the Kenya Automobile Association.

The leaders expressed concern that some parents had given up their role of guiding and disciplining their children to teachers, leading to an increase in deviance among students.

They called for mutual understanding among students, teachers and parents for better management of schools.

Kesses councillor David Maritim appealed to Kenyans to support measures proposed by a task force to help revamp the education sector.

He also urged the government to ensure the recommendations were implemented "to show its seriousness in solving the problems facing the sector".

Mr Mak'asembo called on the constitutional review stakeholders to give university students an opportunity to educate the public on the review process.

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