A SUMMARY REPORT ON AN OPEN DAY WITH SECONDARY SPONSORED STUDENTS AT ANPPCAN REGIONAL OFFICE
Introduction and Objectives Education Sponsorship Programme is geared towards empowering children through education. More than 100 children have been supported in secondary education through the programme. Currently, there are 90 students in the programme, with some in primary school, secondary and colleges/universities. The programme is implemented by ANPPCAN Regional Office and with the financial support from African Kids In Need (AKIN) and The Kenyan Schoolhouse Programme. On 20th August 2013 the programme organized an open day activity in which 18 students from Nairobi County attended. The activity was held at ANPPCAN Regional Offices. The objective of the day was to connect students to their sponsors through Skype Chat, provoke students on how to maximize their holidays/time through being involved in entrepreneurial activities. Several activities were conducted to help students understand how to maximize their opportunities. Later on students hosted a debate on corporal punishment.
Secondary sponsored students at ANPPCAN Regional Office
Activities Upon arrival students were allowed to socialize with each other and share experiences since they were from different schools and in different classes. They also connected with their sponsors through writing articles on events from schools, letters and even poems. The students were then divided into 3 groups. One group was to clean the compound, the second group to weed and prune flowers and the third group to clean the cars. The students were paid for the services they rendered. The purpose for this initiative was to encourage the children to be proactive and 1
entrepreneurial in life. During school holidays the students could engage in simple jobs that could earn them some income for personal needs. This also keeps them busy and also ensures they don’t fall into harmful situations and practices like delinquency, drug use, pick pocketing among others. Such activities also prepare a student to be a responsible child in a family since she/he helps the family with house chores.
Students cleaning the cars During lunch time the students enjoyed their lunch together as they freely chatted to each other. Later in the day they engaged in as heated debate they had proposed…. ‘’Corporal punishment should be abolished in schools’’. The students grouped themselves into proposers and opposers. They elected the speaker, two judges and we had one of the staff as the third judge to guide the other judges. The motion was interactive each group defending their side. Some of the points raised by the opposers include:•
Corporal punishment has been the best discipline measures in children since rarely do they repeat the same mistake
There has been no other clear alternative to corporal punishment especially in schools
Lack of corporal punishment has led to rise in indiscipline cases in schools among them strikes and burning of schools
Some of the points raised by proposers include:•
Corporal punishment has led to permanent deformity that ruined students’ careers especially those venturing in modeling due to marks left permanently on their bodies.
The pain inflicted in children bodies is too much that takes time to heal and in some cases need medical attention. 2
The corporal punishments especially use of canes and nyaunyo triggers some sense of fear in children refraining them from full expression. This sometimes leads to full depression
Corporal punishment i.e. ear pinching hitting the child towards a wall can lead to ear drum damage causing deafness or even death.
At the end of the debate the proposers won the motion. Their points were real and their side was more interactive than the opposing side. They were awarded with a box of biscuits for a well debated motion. Before the students departed a few students show cased their talents. Two students sang 2 songs; one student presented a poem while another presented a narrative.
Emerging Issues During the debate, it emerged that most of the schools still practice corporal punishment despite its banning. Our current constitution protects citizens including children from any form of corporal punishment. Some alternative measures of discipline were introduced in schools to help instill order among them introduction of guiding and counseling department. Some schools lack Child Rights Clubs. Among the students who had such clubs in their school explained its importance. It helps children understand and advocate for their rights and empower them to know where to report such cases. They enlighten a child to know how to protect themselves from cases of abuses including defilement. Recently one of the sponsored children was sexually harassed and silenced by the school from reporting. Such clubs empowers students to know the reporting channels. From the interaction we had with the students, a few issues were picked out. There was a child who completed form 4 and passed with a grade of B. He secured an admission at Maseno University to pursue Business Administration with IT. However he lacks Kshs. 15,000/- to facilitate his first year University entry. One student had some issues with her family. A home visit was conducted and emerged that his elder brother was involved in a road accident and injured his leg. He needs Kshs. 3,000/- to seek medication at Kenyatta National Hospital. Her elder sister who is a sole bread winner works as a casual laborer (hair dresser). However her daily income is inadequate to the needs of the family since they are 8 persons in a one single room house. Recommendations There is need to sensitize and create awareness in schools that practice corporal punishment. Some teachers might be unaware it is a crime to hit or cane a child. Besides, sensitization is important on alternative forms of discipline which are harmless to children. There is need to initiate Child Rights Clubs to schools we support. This could be started with a few schools that are within. This is to enable our children protect themselves from different forms of
maltreatment. In these clubs students can come up with different ideas and utilize opportunities in schools and help the vulnerable children. There is need to support poor families with Income Generating Activities. Some of the problems these families face consequently affect these children in schools both psychologically and academically. The above family can be supported with funds to open up a salon business since their elder sister has skills in hair dressing and works as a hair dresser. The other sisters could also be trained to help in fending for the family. More Skype calls should be arranged in the future to enable students connect with their donors and share both school and home experiences.
Glenn Tedd a student at Jamhuri Boys High School Conclusion The day was well utilized, the students enjoyed themselves and requested for more in the future. Our Director Dr. Philista joined us towards the end and advised our students to be pro active in life. To utilize their holidays well and learn to be entrepreneurial in life. She also encouraged our students to join clubs that would enrich their skills in self protection. She wished them well in their studies. The students dispersed at 4.00 pm and we received confirmation calls from their guardians that they arrived home safe.