ARSON ON THE RISE

Instil discipline in children to end school unrest, parents told

Dormitories in four Migori schools have been gutted by fires, leading to losses worth millions of shillings.

In Summary

• Otieno’s appeal comes in the wake of increased arson, unrest and attacks on teachers in secondary schools.

• She said crime can only be controlled in learning institutions if society changed its approach to addressing children's wayward behaviour.

A 161-bed dormitory gutted by fire at Moi Boys' High School in Nyatike, Migori.
A 161-bed dormitory gutted by fire at Moi Boys' High School in Nyatike, Migori.
Image: MANUEL ODENY

Migori county director of education Elizabeth Otieno on Wednesday called on parents and leaders to instil discipline in their children to help fight juvenile crime in schools.  

She said crime can only be controlled in learning institutions if society changed its approach to addressing children's wayward behaviour.

Otieno’s appeal comes in the wake of increased arson, unrest and attacks on teachers in secondary schools.

In Migori schools, dormitories have been gutted by fires, leading to losses worth millions of shillings. The incidents have been blamed on unruly students.

Weighing in on the goings-on, Otieno said society has contributed to the ever-increasing crime in schools, saying it is partly to blame, having failed to guide children properly.

"Some parents have contributed to the moral decadence among children by not showing them the right way to do things," she said.

The director noted that some parents or guardians have led their children into being hardcore criminals by standing with them whenever they commit crimes.   

At the same time, she pointed out that leaders—including teachers, clerics and politicians—have a greater role to inculcate a sense of moral responsibility among young people.

"My appeal to all parents and leaders is to ensure that our young people, whether in school or outside school, receive the best moral education with a view to moulding them into good people who cannot engage in bad activities anywhere in the country,” Otieno said.

"Only idle minds engage in criminal acts and activities that are not beneficial to society.”

She also warned parents against forcing their daughters to undergo circumcision or offer them up for early marriage.

Otieno said her office was working closely with other government agencies and private organisations to ensure parents found guilty of such crimes are arrested and prosecuted.

The county, especially the Kuria region, is known for practising FGM and the vice has been blamed for poor education standards among girls and rising cases of early marriage.

 

Edited by F'Orieny