OPINIONPeople Daily

Tighten policies to secure schools, students from sex pests

Janet Nzisa

Increased reports of rape and defilement in schools are distressing and raise fundamental questions on security in our learning institutions.

This is why Kenyans reacted with outrage over an incident in which a student at Moi Girls School was allegedly raped recently. Ironically, the school—and all others—should have been a safe haven for the student compared with the adjacent Kibera slum. But no.

The society has a duty to ensure our children’s safety, in and out of school. But the recent wave of rape cases in schools, betrays our negligence and insensitivity towards children. Minors know no peace as sexual predators lurk in every nook and cranny. 

Rape is one of the worst forms of sexual abuse, owing to the fact that it leaves an indelible mark of indignity on the victim, with its effects spreading out on all aspects of an individuals growth.

Although  Education Cabinet secretary Amina Mohamed has dealt with the Moi Girls incident with the seriousness it deserves, it’s impact may account for a great bulk of the victim’s future.

Dissolving the board of management and early retirement of the institution principal were timely actions, but they are just but short-term solutions to the root problem of security in the school and many others across the country.

Tough and punitive measures ought to be put in place if tangible change is to be achieved. Also, all parties have to play their roles diligently to ensure learners safety. We will have failed them if the very place we send them to chart their future is where danger lurks. It’s also worth noting that the future of any nation lies in its youth.

It’s unfortunate that children do not have a forum to articulate their challenges, yet their tender age and mental level makes them vulnerable to all sorts of abuse in a society now so wanting in morality and other values. A society that cannot protect its children is doomed.

Parenting is also not just bringing forth children but bringing them up in the right way; that is morally acceptable.

To get out of this conundrum, we need to equip our children with sex education, to enable them detect any slight sexual advances, subtle or otherwise. The writer is a teacher in Machakos county

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