•. Elders said the decision was reached following wide consultation with stakeholders.
•.They said the curriculum for counseling of the initiates will be amended to reflect their younger ages and include review mentorship during subsequent school holidays.
Kikuyu elders have adjusted the circumcision age of boys from 14 to 12 years.
They say the resolution was made on May 8, after a meeting that brought together all representatives from across the country.
The elders made the statement in Nyeri town on Monday, which was read on their behalf by the national chairman of Kiama Kia Ma elders Ndung’u Gaithuma.
They said the decision was reached following wide consultation with stakeholders including religious leaders, parents and officials from the Ministry of Health.
The Agikuyu cultural association brings together 12 counties where the Kikuyu community lives.
The change was necessitated by the new Competency Based Curriculum, which will see boys transition from primary to junior secondary school at 12 years.
In the 8-4-4 system, they transited to secondary school after completing Class 8 at about 14 years.
Ordinarily boys from the community have to undergone the rite of passage before joining secondary school.
The elders said it has been observed that the younger children will join their older mates who are more experienced in social relationship and culture with some form of resistance.
They as a result said the younger boys may be influenced negatively by their seniors and indoctrinated to bad behaviour.
“It has been agreed that the age of initiation be relooked and commensurate mentorship curriculum be undertaken and amended to reflect a younger age of transition,” they said.
“While the decision to take the child through the rite of passage depends on parents and cultural environment, it is prudent to note that transition across education levels is a constant.”
They said medics and surgeons have advised that the younger boys will be in a position to undergo the surgical process with normal wound healing process.
The elders also said the curriculum for counselling of the initiates will be amended to reflect their younger ages and include review mentorship during subsequent school holidays.
Initiates who go through the rite of passage under the Kiama Kia Ma elders are usually taken through a counselling programme.
“Further teachers will require awareness to tolerate boys who have undergone the rite of passage and are retained in primary schools. They should also be empowered to continue with the mentorship,” they said.
Earlier primary school teachers turned away circumcised learners from the community as they had problems intermingling and engaging in some school activities with their uncircumcised mates.
(Edited by Bilha Makokha)