Principal, two teachers and student among witnesses in Nandi Form One boy’s caning

The family of the late Kevin Kiptanui - Monica Jerobon (right), David Kemboi (uncle) and relatives

The family of the late Kevin Kiptanui - Monica Jerobon (right), David Kemboi (uncle) and relatives at his mother's home in Chepkemel village, Nandi County last week. Kevin died at Nandi Hills Hospital on Saturday March 4, 2023, allegedly after being caned by his teachers at Chemase Secondary School on Friday March 3, 2023.

Photo credit: Annabelle Obala | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The caning happened on Friday March 3, after a teacher allegedly caught Kevin cheating in a Physics exam
  • Kevin was barely a week old at Chemase Secondary School, after reporting late due to school fees challenges
  • He is said to have developed complications after the caning, and died on March 4, at Nandi Hills Hospital
  • His mother, Ms Monica Jerobon told Nation.Africa that her son was in good health until he was caned and developed complications hours later

A principal, two teachers and a student who witnessed the caning of a Form One student who later died while receiving medical attention at the Nandi Hills Hospital have recorded statements with detectives, ahead of the learner’s burial on Tuesday.

Other witnesses in the caning Kevin Kiptanui,16, by his two teachers at Chemase Secondary School in Nandi county a week ago, have also recorded statements with police on what transpired at the school on Friday, March 3.

Nandi County Police Commander Joseph Kavoo told Nation.Africa on Monday that school principal Martin Masika, two teachers, and a student, are among several witnesses that were present when Kiptanui was caned, and they had recorded statements with officers investigating the matter.

They were asked to give details on what transpired on the day Kiptanui is said to have been caned at the school before he was taken to the hospital, where he died the next day.

No arrests

The two teachers implicated in the suspected fatal corporal punishment went underground soon after the student died, fearing the wrath of the local community.

No arrests have been made, as investigations continue. The school board and education officials held a crisis meeting last week and assured parents that they will ensure justice is served.

On Monday, the county police commander said police are waiting for the results of the post-mortem being handled by a government pathologist to determine the next course of action.

Dr Simon Omuok, the North Rift pathologist collected samples from the body last week and took them to the Government Chemist in Nairobi for further analysis, citing some complications.

The police assured the student’s family and the local community that all those implicated would face the law.

The Chemase secondary school Board of Management, led by Prof Joel Chemiron, had summoned the two teachers for questioning on Monday but postponed the meeting to Wednesday, after the student’s burial.

Tuesday burial

The student’s body was collected from Nandi Hills Mortuary ahead of the burial at his mother’s home in Chemase location.

“The board suspended the summons to Wednesday to allow the school and local community time to attend the student’s burial,” Prof Chemiron said.

When they appear on Wednesday, the teachers are expected to show cause why action should not be taken against them for caning the Form One student, which is suspected to have resulted in complications that caused his death.

Nation.Africa has established that the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) is considering interdicting the two teachers given the corporal punishment claims.

“The school board does not support caning of students, which is banned in Kenya, and all the teachers are expected to operate and work within the law,” said a senior TSC official who asked not to be named.

Kiptanui’s mother, Ms Monica Jerobon, had earlier told Nation.Africa that her son was in good health until he was caned and developed complications hours later.

The caning happened on Friday and he died the following day at 11am.

“My son Kevin would not be dead today had I taken him to a different school. The two teachers caned him and he died. I want justice for my son,” she said.