A student has been awarded Ksh4.2 million over a caning incident that occurred over an alleged indiscipline case.
The primary school student from a private institution was allegedly caned by two teachers, a matter that the court established that the kid's rights were abused during the process.
In a ruling delivered on Thursday, December 16, by Justice James Makau, the court noted that the incident inflicted injuries to the minor and demonstrated that indeed his rights were violated.
“Upon consideration of the pleadings, submissions and relevant laws, and exhibits produced in support of the petition and noting the injuries suffered by the minor, I am satisfied that the petitioners have demonstrated and proved the minor's rights were violated by the respondents.
"The petitioner (student) is entitled to an award of damages of Ksh4 million,” ruled Justice Makau.
The legal battle also saw the Judge award the parents of the student Ksh200,000 for their troubles in finding a new school and helping him heal from the trauma caused by the incident.
“The petitioners (student's parents) are awarded Ksh200,000 for the violation of their rights to be paid by the respondent jointly and respectively,” Justice Makau ruled.
The case was filed by the student in March 2021 after he reported home looking disturbed and not bubbly. That same evening he informed his parents that he was caned without revealing the reason for being subject to that corporal punishment.
According to court papers, the minor had some body injuries revealing the magnitude of the incident. The incident was then reported at Soweto Police Station but nothing happened.
After failing to get justice, the parents moved to a constitutional court. The parents told the court that the minor refused to go to school out of fear that he would be eliminated.
The student was further subjected to mental torture after failing to obtain a transfer letter from the institution. They described the whole scenario as violence, cruelty, torture, inhumane treatment, and degrading the kid.
The school responded by saying that the boy’s parents withdrew the complaint at the police station.
At the same time, it asserted that its teachers were instilling discipline on the minor with the consent of his parents.
“The respondents have also not denied issuing a letter that negatively impacts on the minor's repute and as a result, he has been unable to find another school jeopardising his right to education.
“In my view, based on the cited laws and the evidence adduced by the petitioners, I find that there is no doubt that the respondents violated the minor's rights as alluded to in the petitioners pleadings,” noted Justice Makau.
The incident comes even as education stakeholders mull reintroducing corporal punishment in schools over the rising cases of indiscipline in schools.
Kenya National Association of Parents chair, Nicholas Maiyo, argued that caning can only be allowed back in schools if teachers are not allowed to dispense it. A move rejected by Education Cabinet Secretary, George Omore Magoha.
"We can only allow once we have agreed who will cane the child but not the teacher because they harm our children," said Maiyo.
The Children's Act, 2001 entitles children to protection from all forms of abuse and violence. This protects the students from any form of injurious punishment.
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