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School CP - September 1998

Daily Nation, Nairobi, 2 September 1998

KCPE students caned for missing holiday classes

By NATION Correspondent

Opening day for a number of pupils at Nyeri's Githiru Primary School turned into a nightmare when teachers caned a number of Standard 8 pupils for missing holiday tuition leaving at least two of them seriously injured.

In response, armed irate villagers stormed the school and beat up the headmaster and teachers.

Armed police were called in and maintained a night vigil at the home of one of the teachers where villagers earlier on harassed her husband, retired police inspector Alfred Thoronjo and a daughter and cut the telephone connection.

One of the pupils, Charles Ndegwa collapsed during the beating and fell unconscious. He was later taken to hospital by his mother.

Another student Maina Thuku was also a victim of a thorough beating. His condition was said to have worsened afterwards.

Ndegwa said he received the serious lashing from "all the teachers with the exception of a few".

The pupils said those who had missed the mandatory August holiday tuition were paraded and beaten.

Attempts by Ndegwa to explain his three-day absence from tuition, he said, was ignored.

"As two teachers held me, the headmaster held me by the neck and hurled me away sending me falling," a tearful Ndegwa said.

Another pupil Pauline Wangechi said a colleague Mary Muthoni who attempted to remove a hospital card as proof she had a good reason to miss out the classes was "slapped severally."

The students said only children whose parents were teachers at the school went scot-free.

The afternoon classes were completely disrupted when villagers hurling insults stormed the school and accosted the teachers.

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