The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has revealed that 1,228 teachers have been dismissed in the last seven years over sexual relationships with learners.
Appearing before the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday, TSC chief executive Nancy Macharia disclosed that the commission dismissed a total of 1,077 teachers in secondary and primary schools between 2010 and 2017, while 151 teachers were kicked out recently.
She further revealed the numbers could be more as many cases go unreported for many reasons linked to culture issues and ignorance of caretakers.
Ms Macharia told the committee that learners were targets due to their tender age, which makes it easier for perpetrators to take advantage of them
In one instance, she gave a scenario where some perpetrators compromised parents and guardians after committing the shameful acts, so as not to disclose the relationship to authorities.
According to a teenage pregnancies report tabled before the committee, Kakamega County tops the list with the highest number of learners, at 88.
Kisii County comes second with 61 cases, Homa Bay (60), Kitui (53), Bungoma (47), and Siaya (46).
Others are Tana River and Mombasa counties with four cases. West Pokot and Nairobi reported three cases and finally Mandera and Wajir with one case each.
Ms Macharia noted that out of the reported cases, teachers were responsible for about two percent of the pregnancies. She blamed ‘notorious’ local communities for the high pregnancy rates.
Whereas the commission had tried its best to cut down the increasing numbers – by taking action against teachers involved, Ms Macharia noted that Private schools were frustrating the process as they ended up hiring the dismissed teachers.
According to the CEO, The private schools do not have a proper mechanism to vet the history of the tutors.
She reiterated that the commission was keen on protecting learners from immoral tutors.
She said that a total of 279 dismissed teachers had applied for review of their cases without success.
Last year, during the national examinations period, a high number of teenage pregnancies were recorded raising questions on the role of the ministry of education in protecting the future of the young generation.
Following the incidents, then Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed ordered investigations into the high cases of teenage pregnancies witnessed across the country.
She directed the Quality Assurance and Standard department to carry out investigations into the cases and table a report for immediate action by the ministry.
To curb the high rate of teenage pregnancies, some leaders suggested issueance of contranceptives to students.
However, the move has elicited mixed reaction with a section of religious organizations coming out strongly about the ‘ill advised’ action.
Yesterday, Ms Augusta Muthigani, an educational commissioner at the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops warned against giving learners contraceptives, saying, it would only encourage teenage sex.