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January 21, 2019

Worries as boys desert classes for cut trainings

A boy prepares for circumcision rite in Bumula Constituency Bungoma county/BRIAN OJAMAA
A boy prepares for circumcision rite in Bumula Constituency Bungoma county/BRIAN OJAMAA

Teachers in Bungoma have raised alarm over boys deserting school to prepare for circumcision scheduled for August.

About 10,000 boys aged between 10 and 14 are expected to undergo circumcision in Bungoma, Kakamega and Trans Nzoia counties.

The cut is a rite of passage among the Bukusu and Tachoni subtribes of the Luhya.

Kenya National Union of Teachers on Thursday said the boys had started their preparations too early.

Knut secretary general for Bungoma East Aggrey Namisi asked administrators and education officials to ensure the boys remain in schools the end of the term.

‘’We want police and chiefs to be on high alert to ensure boys do not spend the nights singing and dancing along roads in preparations for the event. Such actions will affect their performance,” Namisi said.

Among those preparing for the circumcision are Kenya Certificate of Primary Education candidates.

Speaking to the star in his office, Namisi said concerted efforts were needed to ensure the candidates studies are not affected.

“Performance in national examinations usually drop during circumcision years because candidates abandon classes to prepare for the initiation,” Namisi said.

Namisi, who is also a member of the union’s national executive committee, asked parents not to allow their children to attend night training.

“As much as we do not intend to interfere with the cultural beliefs and practices of the local community, we should not sit back and watch as education programmes are interfered with,” he said.

Amisi said villagers often take advantage of such processes to engage in criminal and immoral activities. He asked parents to ensure only professional circumcisers cut their children.

Many boys have previously been hospitalised after borched circumcision. In 2016, a 15-year-old boy was admitted to Webuye Subcounty Hospital after his penis was nearly chopped off by a ‘quack’ circumciser.

He was rushed to the hospital by relatives after the circumciser’s knife slit almost all of his manhood. The parents said the boy was not cut by a traditional circumciser but by a doctor who had been called to perform the operation.

The doctor, who went into hiding, had previously circumcised two other boys at the home.

Namisi urged parents to keenly monitor their children as they prepare to face the cut. Some boys also take advantage of the opportunity to terrorise and rape young girls.

Circumcision remains a highly regarded practice among the Bukusu and Tachoni communities as it marks the initiation of boys from childhood to adulthood.





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