Father of boy brutally beaten by teachers decries slow police probe

Nyamninia Primary School

Nyamninia Primary School in Siaya County where a Standard Eight pupil was allegedly assaulted by his teachers for failing to attain 400 marks.

Photo credit: Pool I Nation Media Group

The father of a Standard Eight pupil who was shown on video after he was allegedly caned by his teachers for failing to score 400 marks in tests has decried the slow pace of police investigations.

Mr Duncan Ochido, father of Bravin Ochido, said he was frustrated after the suspects, who are out on a police bond, failed to appear in a Magistrate Court in Siaya to plead to assault charges.

“I got information from the police to be in court this morning. Sadly, I have not seen the teachers who are behind my son’s pain come to court. All that I am told is that the files are still with the Office of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions,” lamented Mr Ochido.

He added: “I am a casual labourer in Gem and to reach Siaya I spend a lot of money. It is costly to travel to Siaya and back and nothing is taking place. What is the reason for the delay?”

Care and protection file

The teachers, from Nyamninia Primary School, were supposed to be charged on July 25, but this did not take place as their files were still with the public prosecutor’s office.

Gem sub-county children’s officer Beatrice Auma has since opened a care and protection file for the child under Section 144 (Q) and (Y) of the Children Act of 2022.

“The file is necessary in order to protect the child from the trauma he underwent as a result of the assault; the child also needs counselling as he continues learning in the same school. The services will begin in order to help the child overcome all the possible psychological torture,” said Ms Auma.

But the care and protection file will only be effective after the suspects have pleaded to the charges.

Two teachers, Mr Paul Osogo and Ms Maureen Otieno, were arrested and booked at the Gem Police Station after the video went viral on social media. They were later released on a police bond.

In the amateur video shot with a mobile phone, the bruised candidate laments bitterly that the teachers punished him for failing to attain 400 marks in tests out of the possible 500.

My ability

“It is better I stay without going to school. The marks that I scored are to the best of my ability. Why must I be beaten when I can’t attain 400 marks? We are really suffering, there is little food in the school,” he says.

The boy’s mother, Ms Nereah Anyango, told reporters after the incident happened that she was shocked by the abuse.

“The teacher stripped my son naked and caned him in that state. Does it mean that for the candidates to pass they must go through hell?” she said.

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha, on a visit to Siaya a day after the video went viral, said corporal punishment is outlawed in schools and any teacher involved in it is on his or her own.

“The Constitution is very clear that there is no corporal punishment in schools and that is final,” Prof Magoha said.

He added: “You cannot punish a learner simply because they have not attained some marks that you expect them to score; you don’t expect all the candidates to score 400 in exams.”

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