Teachers from across the country have raised concerns over a worrying trend among students since the resumption of learning on January 4, 2021.
The rising cases of students attacking their teachers since the schools reopened have left education stakeholders worried with teachers grappling with rising cases of indiscipline.
Jared Motito, a Mathematics Teacher at St James Nyaronde Secondary School in Nyamira County told Kenyans.co.ke on January 13, that many students had become difficult and stubborn, totally different from when they left school in March 2020 due to the pandemic.
He stated that the long break (9 months) had corroded the students’ moral compass, with many showing open disregard for authority and schoolwork.
Students from Lugulu Girls High School protesting along the Webuye-Kitale highway.
“These students report to school late. They are rude and even when assigning manual duties to them, they don’t want to do them. They don’t do their school assignments,” Mr Motito stated.
He noted that some of the students had gotten hooked to drugs during the break, adding that it was a major contributing factor to the hostility teachers have faced since the schools reopened.
“Some of these kids were indulging in drug during the break. Since now they are in school, many are struggling with withdrawal, some of them are stressed, and that is why you have heard students stabbing teachers,” Mr Motito argued.
He also highlighted the freedom the learners enjoyed while at home as another contributor to the deteriorating morals among students.
“While at home, you know the parents have to go to work. You find that these children also go out with their friends. You find them registering sim card lines with their parent’s ID cards and this is how they would communicate with each other.
“Some of them were employed, working in shops or transport. You would find them, at the end of the day, gathering to and buy alcohol,” Mr Motito stated.
“The freedom they had at home, the luxury they had. They come to school and feel like it’s some small prison,” he added.
The mathematics teacher reiterated that the attack on teachers by students is major worry for tutors.
“The teacher who was attacked by a student at Kisii High school is my friend, and it is sad to hear what happened to him. It can happen to me, or any other teacher” he remarked.
Mr Motito stated that teachers were not prepared well in advance to handle such scenarios. He urged the government to deploy counsellors to schools to help learners settle back in school.
Teachers at Ndhiwa constituency voiced similar concerns, urging that committees to be formed to ensure restoration of discipline among learners.
“We have children who are different from when they left, they went through a lot. We have girls who have come back as expectant mothers. Some girls and boys have come back as former employees. Motorbike riders, the sweetness of money out there is making it hard to switch them back to students,” a teacher at Ndhiwa Primary School stated.
The teachers stated that there was a breakdown in communication between them and learners.
Area Member of Parliament Martins Owino promised to establish centres to counsel the students through the National Government-Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) will .
The Teachers Service Commission has since called upon members of the public to aid in taming such occurrences.
“TSC regrets the recent attacks on our teachers by the leaners in Kisii and the attempted attack by another student in Mokwerero Sec School in Nyamira County. Let’s all Kenyans of goodwill help mentor our children positively,” TSC said in a report.
Some of the students who ran away from Matungulu High School on Wednesday, November 25, 2020.