The Ministry of Education is mulling introduction of gender desks at all schools in order to tame the spiraling cases of gender based violence against school children. This is in a bid to increase safety for school going children, across the country. The Ministry’s latest move has been triggered by the high number of reported cases of gender based violence and high pregnancy rates among school girls. These revelations were made by the Education Cabinet Secretary, Dr Amina Mohammed, in her speech during this year’s Kenya National Union of Teachers’ (KNUT) Annual Delegates Conference at the Bomas of Kenya on Thursday, 13th December- 2018.
Dr Amina said a recent economic survey report showed that about 784 school girls were forcibly penetrated (raped) this year. A total of 3,487 cases of defilement also occurred. During the same period, 287 incidents of incest were experienced. Amina added that 107 cases of sodomy and 254 cases of indecent assault were also reported.
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The Cabinet Secretary said her Ministry was working closely with stake holders to increase the safety of learners; particularly the school girls. “There is also a standing ministerial team working on Standard Operating Procedures to be rolled out in schools to make institutions safe and secure zones for every child,” Dr Amina noted. The gender desks will handle school-based rape, defilement, incest and sodomy cases. The Ministry is expected to release further guidelines on how the gender desks will be instituted.
During the releasing of this year’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) results the Cabinet Secretary directed schools to adhere to the Ministry’s guidelines on learners’ safety and school-going hours. The current guidelines ban any remedial activities in the wee hours and after normal classes. Related content: Holiday tuition and remedial teaching remain banned, CS Amina says as she releases the 2018 KCPE results