I am a genius though not the regular types you know :the bookworms or computer wizards. I am a story teller who prefers a pen to talking my mouth dry.
The Alliance high school tragedy, opened some hidden wounds I obtained eleven years ago in primary school :
The students narrated how “house committees” and prefects took them through traumatising rituals in what they called “induction” or “action” nights.“During action nights, you are woken up by house committees and prefects and taken to the ironing bay, where youare subjected to all kinds of torture, including caning,” said one student.Another one is quoted as saying: “We spent countless nights scrubbing toilets with belts flying on our backs.
Some of them (prefects) said they were our gods and we should worship them. We were also asked to crawl on grass and hug fluorescent light bulbs,” said one of the students.Another student said: “We were chased around the school with whips and belts by the prefects. Some of us were injured. Early in the morning we were woken up at 3am to lie on graves.” (Oduor, March 2nd 2017)
(Oduor,A. 2017). Harrowing Tales of Alliance.
I was a little kid, long woolly hair,ebony with very white teeth. Blending in with the crowd was a bit difficult. Plus I was among the tallest kids in the all-girl private Catholic primary school.
Twenty of my classmates had not attained the pass mark of 60% in Social Studies. I remember the female teacher ordering us to get on our knees and remove our shoes and socks. It was 9am in the morning, our tiny feet were stiff due to the cold. She took a cane fashioned from wood and covered in cellotape then begun whipping our soles. The number of canes equalled the passmark minus the one you had scored. I had scored 40%. What a day! I was forced to limp for two days with a torn soul.
The English teacher was a devil. In addition to her evil profile, she was the headteacher. So on this day, I was unfortunate enough to misspell the word “pronunciation ” in my assignment. She called me to the front of the class together with other spelling criminals and whipped our hands sore! Each mistake was multiplied by five and that equalled the number of canes you boldly received.
The English teacher also taught CRE. The devil always finds a way to stick around. This time I missed my tea break; a slice of bread and black tea. My whole class was punished for failing a mock exam where the rival class defeated us by five marks! I thought we deserved to be congratulated since we had improved compared to the last exam. We stayed five hours with no food,hiding hunger pangs in our smiles and greetings through the five classes of the day.
The scumbag a of teacher teaching 11-13 year olds in standard 7, said something I have never forgotten . He was fresh from college and I had high expectations from him seeing that he was young and not like the other old terrorists. I was drastically disappointed. This is what he said as he prepared to cane us for spelling mistakes and wrong sentence construction, ” African children need to be caned to understand. They are not like the ‘Wazungu‘ children.”
‘Wazungu‘ is a slang name for whites in Swahili. It comes from an East African word meaning to ‘roam’ or go in ‘circles’. Originated from colonial era.
From that day I became the worst rebellious kid in my class. I don’t support rubbish!
Those are just a few examples of what I went through in the four years I spent in the well performing and nationally recognized primary school.
I suffered in the hands of those who my parents trusted to take care of me in boarding school. Instead I received permanent reminders of how the education system of Kenya is flawed from its cores. A system that trusts in pain through corporal punishment to teach young children. Cases of children dying in the hands of teachers has risen since 2006 despite the government banning it in early 2000. Upto date the flawed system has taken root in high schools.
A class three pupil dies after allegedly being caned for not being able to readApost-mortem will on Thursday be conducted on a class three pupil saidto have been beaten to death by a teacher.A Nanyuki court granted police 14 days to conduct investigations and the deputy head teacher will also undergo a mental examination before pleading to charges on February 14.the teacher was presented before senior residentmagistrate Evans Ngige at Nanyuki law courts but did not plead to the charges as the directorate of criminalinvestigations sought more time to finalise their probe into the death of Joy Waguthi. the 10 year-old girl is said to have died after being beaten for being unable to read. (Kahenda,2016)
from (Kahenda .M, 2016) :https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/ktnhome/video/watch/2000121451/a-class-three-pupil-dies-after-allegedly-being-caned-for-not-being-able-to-read?_e_pi_=7%2CPAGE_ID10%2C4776810336
We need to change the education system, not only the syllabus but also methods of teaching. I will not be intimidated to speak against it again. Trouble arises when those in authority abuse power over the innocent children.
The teacher from Subukia Primary School is said to have descended on 14-year-old David Ndung’u with kicks and blows on October 3, after the boy performed dismally in Social Studies.In a seeming case of corporal punishment, which the national government banned years ago, the teacher also accused Ndung’u of pulling the entire class backwards.Elizabeth Nyokabi, the victim’s mother,told The Standard her son had complained of a severe headache the day he was beaten.”My son said he was feeling sick when he came back home that day. He later told me a teacher had beaten him severely for failing to score the minimum marks he had set for the class. He said the teacher caned him everywhere, including on the head,” said Ms Nyokabi.”He said he was considering not doing the KCPE exams because the teacher had given up on him and he was also tired of the beatings.”gave painkillersNyokabi said she gave her son painkillers but the headache did not goaway.”I took him to Subukia Hospital where he was treated and discharged,” she said, but Ndung’u’s condition worsened last Friday.She took him back to the hospital and was referred to one in Nyahururu where he was admitted.”By the time he was being admitted, my son was very weak. He could not walk on his own and I had to support him,” said the distraught mother.Around 9pm on Saturday, she receiveda call from a doctor telling her that Ndung’u had died.