eronica Atieno being helped to walk at their Makindu home. Photo/Kipkorir Tarus
eronica Atieno being helped to walk at their Makindu home. Photo/Kipkorir Tarus

Trans Nzoia: KCSE Candidate Paralyzed After Corporal Punishment in School

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A family in Makindu village, Sinyereri ward, Cheranga’ny Constituency in Trans Nzoia County is crying for justice after their daughter Veronica Atieno, a KCSE candidate was allegedly assaulted and seriously injured by a female teacher.

Atieno, 18, a student in Sitatunga Secondary School had reportedly gone to collect a Ksh1,000 remedial fee from her cousin at the school’s gate on 7/4/2023 before the teacher confronted her.

During the confrontation, the teacher is said to have pulled a fence dropper which she used to hit the student severally on the neck, shoulder and back leaving her with injuries.

In an interview with the media at their home, Atieno whose legs and arms are now paralyzed said the teacher could not listen to her explanation and she had to run to safety.

eronica Atieno seated on a couch addressing the media.  Photo/Kipkorir Tarus
Veronica Atieno is seated on a couch addressing the media. Photo/Kipkorir Tarus

The teacher is said to have accused the girl of arrogance and refusing to be disciplined.

When I called home, my grandmother came and she was told I was pretending to be sick. She was then allowed to pick me and she took me to a physician operating in Kapsara centre where I was given some painkillers and recommended to go for a further checkup,” Atieno told journalists.

Denied permission from school

When she went back to school, her condition deteriorated and when she asked for permission, she was allegedly denied school leave.

It was at this point that she opted to sneak out of school in the evening with other day scholars.

We have done X-ray and MRI examinations and the results of the tests indicate that although my bones are well, my nerves on the neck and spinal cord are swollen and have some pores,” she said.

Jane Ocheing’, Atieno’s grandmother, said her granddaughter is fully dependent on others’ support as a result of paralysis caused by corporal punishment.

I don’t sleep at night because Atieno is always in pain and she needs my support. She cannot bathe, dress, move or even lift anything. In fact, she cannot relieve herself and we have to help her,” Ocheing’ revealed.

She has since called on the Ministry of Education through Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Mochogu to chip in and intervene so that her daughter can get justice.

I am worried that my daughter who was expecting to write her KCSE examination this year and later on pursue a journalism career cannot do the exam because she is paralyzed. Machogu and the government should help me as soon as possible,” she appealed.

TSC to act

Makindu village residents led by Julius Murege and Wycliffe Wambi said the teacher should be arrested and charged for causing the ambitious girl untold suffering.

It is not fair to paralyze a child who was very healthy because of 1,000 shillings for remedial classes which is not legal according to the Ministry of Education policies and guidelines. That teacher should be charged and asked to compensate the family,” one of the locals said.

Sitatunga Secondary School Principal Evans Nyakundi who reported in the school in June condemned the incident and called on the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to do investigations on the incident so justice is served.

Main gate to the Sitatunga Secondary School  where thr girl was alledgedly subjected to corporal unishment. Photo/Kipkorir Tarus.
The main gate to the Sitatunga Secondary School where the girl was allegedly subjected to corporal punishment. Photo/Kipkorir Tarus.

Corporal punishment was outlawed in Kenya. The employer should do investigations and I am ready to provide any needed information because this child deserves justice. It is sad that I will have a difficult time explaining to the Kenya National Examinations Council KNEC, why my candidate will not sign the nominal roll,” Nyakundi said.

Law on corporal punishment

Corporal punishment was outlawed in Kenya in 2001 when the Children Act 2001 came into effect.

Article 29 of the Constitution of Kenya further outlaws torture, corporal punishment and any other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.

In addition, Section 13 and 18 of the Children Act protects children from physical and humiliating abuse. Subjecting children to torture and cruel treatment amounts to a breach of the Act.

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