Thursday, October 7, 2010

Hundreds of Kenyan teachers dismissed over sex abuse of young students

In Kenya more than 1,000 teachers have been sacked for sexually abusing girls over the past couple of years. Most of the victims were aged between 12 and 15. A nationwide confidential helpline was set up to help victims. And it had revealed that the problem was much more widespread than previously thought. Most of the cases have occurred in rural primary schools.

Initially it was difficult to know what was actually happening in the country because of the poor communication, but now communication is everywhere - there are mobiles across the country. So now it is easier and to get into it and know what is really happening. Last year, 600 male teachers were dismissed and so far this year 550 teachers have lost their jobs for either kissing, touching or impregnating girls out a total teaching staff of 240,000 countrywide.

A number of them have been taken to court, and they have been sentenced accordingly. The problem was widespread. Last year in Nyanza province it was found that in one primary school we had over 20 girls who were pregnant and nearly half the numbers were actually impregnated by the teachers themselves. However, the officials investigating the abuse were not passing on vital information to get convictions.

The biggest problem is the fact that the district education officers they do not report the matters to the police. Often teachers who are caught sullying their students end up paying the parents in order to prevent cases going to court. Not only male but also female teachers who started to have illicit liaison with young boys.