The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) has said that it will oppose any attempt to reintroduce corporal punishment in schools amid rising cases of indiscipline.
According to KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion, the reintroduction of the cane would risk the lives of teachers, especially from “aggressive” teenagers.
Instead, Mr Sossion, who doubles up as a nominated Member of Parliament, has rooted for the abolishment of boarding schools to allow parents to take their rightful place in disciplining their children.
“We will not accept the return of corporal punishment which will put our teachers in conflict with the leaners. If they want to return it, let them post police officers to schools who will be doing the caning job because these teenagers are likely to kill the teachers,” said Mr Sossion.
The KNUT boss was speaking in Nakuru on Saturday evening after branch union elections at Afraha High School.
Sossion was reacting to remarks by Education Cabinet Secretary that the return of the cane would help teachers deal with unruly students linked to indiscipline cases.
Speaking to members of the press on Thursday following the rise in cases of arson in a number of schools across the country, the tough-talking minister maintained that capital punishment holds the key to settling cases where “students have grown horns.”
“I may appear old school but I think we are at a time when we need to discuss how we can bring sanity in our schools and maybe bring the cane on board once more,” said Prof Magoha.
But Mr Sossion argued that the indiscipline is caused by parents absconding their duties of instilling morals in their children.
The KNUT boss said the role of the teachers is to guide and teach the learners, adding that parents need to play their role.
“It is time for this country to abolish all boarding schools and have state-of-the-art day schools. We want the parents to regain their skills of guiding their children after work as the work of the teachers is to impart knowledge and values between 8am to 5pm,” said Mr Sossion.
At the same time, Mr Sossion accused the government of using the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to fight KNUT instead of engaging them.
He asked President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene and restore “sanity” in the commission.
“Anti-labour actions are not desired and are not the solution of achieving labour relations but engaging and working with strong unions is what has made Kenyan education the best in Africa in terms of quality and access,” said Mr Sossion.