Head teachers call for common code of ethics

Kessha boss Kahi Indimuli blames poor parenting and a lack of uniform punishments for ongoing unrests in secondary schools

Secondary School Heads Association (Kessha) is rooting for introduction of a common code of ethics for all schools in a bid to instil discipline amongst students.

Kessha chairman Kahi Indimuli says discrepancies in what is expected from students in different schools is a setback to the realisation of universal student discipline.

“Our proposal as a union is that we have a common code of ethics for all institutions so that students can know what is universally acceptable from them in all schools,” said Indimuli, who is also Machakos High School Chief Principal.

Speaking in his office, Indimuli urged education stakeholders to come up with a harmonised code of ethics. He said, for instance, different schools have diverse forms of punishments for students’ mistakes, which affects uptake of good morals amongst them.

The Kessha boss said that there is need for the schools to document mistakes done by a particular student and even suspend them. “Why can’t we suspend that one guilty student for even a year as happens in colleges and universities, so that we don’t end up punishing all students because of a mistake done by a few?”  he asked.

Indimuli also blamed parents for abdicating their parental responsibility to the learners, saying that some of them are not keen on their children’s behaviour, which has contributed to the current wave of student unrests in schools. 

He said some parents have been complaining that a weeklong mid-term break is ‘too long for leaners to be at home’.  “If as a parent you fear handling one child for only one week during a halftime break, what about the teachers who handle hundreds of the adolescents? There is need for concerted effort,” he said. 

Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang recently complained that too much responsibility in upbringing children is being left to the teachers, which could be a leading factor to indiscipline among students.

Indimuli wants parents to take up their God-given mandate and ensure they partner with teachers to bring up disciplined children.

On the issue of adopting a common uniform for all schools in the country, Indimuli said it could trigger more unrest and warned that all stakeholders should move slowly on the project. “The issue of cost of school uniforms should be addressed separately without provoking wildcat strikes,” he said.

Indimuli said colours in school uniforms have a lot of emotional attachment to both current and former students. “Similar uniforms may escalate indiscipline since teachers will be unable to distinguish students from diverse institutions. Let us not add a third trigger to indiscipline,” he said.

Indimuli said the introduction of pilot day and boarding secondary schools should be given time to yield concrete feedbacks.  “There is need for establishment of proper infrastructure in the learning institutions before they are elevated to boarding schools,” he said.

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