children in kenya suffering from a hidden epidemic
Children in Kenya are suffering because of intense flogging at schools. Sometimes, children are so severely beaten that they go into a coma. Corporal punishment in schools is common in Kenya and the children are suffering.
Caleb Mwangi, a 15 year old boy from Kenya, recalled the flogging incident when he couldn’t leave his bed. When he was 13 years old, he was severely beaten at his school in Kenya by his teacher because he took extra food for breakfast. He was put into a coma and spent 11 days in an intensive care unit (ICU) at the hospital. His father Fred Mwangi told the BBC, “When I got there, he couldn’t leave his bed. He couldn’t speak.”
He is currently 15 years old. He often tends to zone out from time to time. He is suffering the consequences of trauma caused by the near-death experience.
What happened to Caleb Mwangi?
Caleb Mwangi was beaten by sticks. His injuries were so deep that the surgeon had to remove large pieces of skin from his thighs. Lacerations covered his legs, back and arms, and even his face. His mother Agnes Mutiri told the BBC, “His whole body was like this.”
A scar is currently covering the width and length of his back, highlighting the brutality of the act. Nancy Gachewa, the director of Gremon Education Centre – a school in the town of Bamburi near Mombasa – beat him because he took five chapatis and ate them with tea.
Currently, a case is filed against the teacher.
Kenya’s corporal punishment continues
Kenya’s corporal punishment has affected the lives of children. Students often die at the hands of education professionals in Kenya.
Over the last 5 years, more than 20 deaths linked to school beatings have been reported in the media. Consider the harrowing case of Ebbie Noelle Samuels, who was beaten by the deputy principal of the school because she styled her hair. She had severe head injury, blunt force trauma. She died at the hospital. Later on, Elizabeth Wairimu Gatimu, the former deputy principal of Ebbie’s school, was arrested for murder.
The unreported cases likely run deeper. Many cases are not reported by the media. Corporal punishment, officially outlawed in 2001, continues to kill innocent children. Despite the shocking statistics and tragic stories of children dying in schools, accountability remains elusive.