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Kenya fires 1,000 teachers for sex abuse

A thousand teachers have been sacked amid allegations of sexually abusing school girls.

Last year, 600 male teachers were fired and so far this year 550 teachers have lost their jobs for either kissing or touching schoolgirls.

The teachers have been struck off Kenya’s Teachers Service Commission register and warned that as well as losing their jobs, they now face criminal proceedings.

News of the allegations emerged as the Kenya Primary School Head teachers Association met for its annual conference at the Sheikh Sayed Welfare Hall in Mombasa on Wednesday, the Daily Nation newspaper reported.

The Teachers Service Commission chairman Ibrahim Hussein told the head teachers that the Commission had involved the police. “It is wrong for teachers who have been entrusted the care of the girls to turn against them and interfere with their education,” he said at the conference.

"So far we have managed to get 30 cases to court with the help of the police and the children's department," he said. But he criticised some parents, who had taken the law into their own hands. “The number of teachers who have been sacked and taken to court may appear to be small but this is an issue of concern that we would need the support of the parents and the community to bring it to an end,” he said.

But Musau Ndunda, secretary general of Kenya National Association of Parents said that while some cases had reached the courts, no prosecutions were taking place.

"Most of these children come from poor families and the parents are bribed, sometimes for as little as $10, to drop the case," he told CNN news channel.

Mr Ndunda blamed the government and the TSC, saying that it had happened because there was no policy framework to guide the teacher-student relationship."In rural areas you will find a student cooking and fetching water for a teacher in his home," he said. "This makes it easy for her to be defiled."

The youngest pregnant student who had gone to the Kenya National Association of Parents for help was 14, but Mr Ndunda said girls as young as 12 were among the victims.

Mr Hussein, urged the girl’s parents to make sure they are allowed to go back to school after giving birth so that they don’t miss out on their education. He recommended that the girls be sent to different schools afterwards to avoid stigma and said head teachers will be given training on how to deal with such cases.

Regardless of a campaign for gender equality, some parts of the east African country still discriminate against girls when it comes to education, said education minister Professor Sam Ongeri. He named the north-eastern, coast and Nyanza provinces where the number of girls in upper primary is very low compared with the number of boys. He called on head teachers to guarantee equal opportunities for both boys and girls.

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