Daily Nation, June 29, 2000

Corporal punishment to be banned, says Kenya education minister
By NATION Correspondent

Corporal punishment is to be officially banned in schools.

The government will soon gazette a policy banning corporal punishment in schools.

Addressing secondary and primary headteachers in Mombasa, Education Minister Kalonzo Musyoka said the government would soon gazette the new policy.

Although the government recognised the need to instil student discipline, headteachers must adopt other measures to ensure this.

He said the plea for insurance cover for headteachers against student violence was in bad taste. It implied that the teacher-students relations were irreparably bad.

He advised them to practise a participatory approach to leadership, meaning proper communication with students rather than "living in the ivory tower".

Mr Musyoka expressed concern over the high drop-out rate, and he urged headteachers to avoid sending students away for not having paid fees and other levies.

He noted that only 47 per cent of primary school pupils join secondary, and expressed a need to redress the situation.

He said children needed to be computer literate, adding that all Kenyans should be able to access the Internet to meet the challenges of globalisation.

On balancing the number of teachers countrywide, Mr Musyoka said it would be carried out cautiously to avoid causing suffering.

He added that the government was formulating a minimum criterion for appointing headteachers.

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