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Teachers Identified as Major Physical Abusers — Demographic Survey

Teachers Identified as Major Physical Abusers — Demographic Survey

Indiscipline among students is on the rise with the abolishment of corporal punishment in schools.

Many want it reintroduced as GNAT supports the re-introduction of Corporal punishment in schools. 

Here is a Demographic Survey conducted in Kenya for your perusal.

Teachers have been identified as the leading perpetrators of physical violence, according to a new survey, shedding light on the probable continuation of illegal corporal punishment in schools.

Despite the perception that school is a safe space for learners at risk of violence, victims interviewed for the survey indicated that they had endured the most physical harm at the hands of teachers.


Kenya’s National Bureau of Statistics and Ministry of Health are responsible for conducting the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey 2022. It surveyed 42,300 homes.

This study examines, among other things, perpetrators of gender-based violence among males aged 15 to 54 and females aged 15 to 49.

According to the statistics, males were the biggest victims of physical abuse by teachers. For married men, 28% of those polled had experienced physical violence at the hands of teachers, followed by current wives or intimate companions at 20%.

Nearly half, 46%, of unmarried males indicate that they have been physically abused by teachers.
On the other hand, former classmates/schoolmates were the second most likely perpetrators of physical abuse among unmarried men, further highlighting the need to investigate potential bullying incidents in schools.

33 percent of unmarried women surveyed identified teachers as their physical abusers, placing teachers at the top of the list of physical abusers.

The report also identifies mothers and stepmothers as perpetrators of physical violence against unmarried women at a rate of 25%.

However, for married women, the primary perpetrator of violence is their husband or wife. Statistics indicate that, unlike other victims, only 5.8 percent of married women identified teachers as the perpetrators.

In contrast, they were more likely to experience physical violence from their current husband or intimate partner (54%) than from a former husband or intimate partner (34%).

Men and women were equally likely to experience sexual violence from their current spouse or intimate partner, with women bearing the brunt of sexual assault.

However, a small percentage of those surveyed reported experiencing sexual violence at the hands of teachers, including 1.4% of married women and 1.5% of married males.


TSC report; 29 instructors removed for sexual misconduct with students.

In 2019, the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) reported expelling 29 instructors for sexual misconduct with students. The incidents occurred from May to November of 2018.

In 2018, 32 additional instructors were removed from the TSC register for the same infraction.
In announcing the disciplinary action, TSC chief executive Nancy Macharia stated that cases of teacher-student sexual relations contributed to a rise in adolescent pregnancies among students.
Physical punishment
In Kenya, corporal punishment has been outlawed since the promulgation of the 2010 Constitution.

However, a United Nations report indicates that corporal punishment in schools persists in many countries where it is illegal, often with parental support.

Reintroducing physical punishment

In Kenya, the reintroduction of caning in schools has played a prominent role in the search for solutions to student unrest and notoriety.

Immediate former Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha called for the reintroduction of the cane in 2021, following a surge of student unrest shortly after the reopening of schools following the nine-month Covid-19 shutdown.

Prof. Magoha, defending corporal punishment, argued that lashing students was necessary and could help reduce indiscipline cases such as rioting, arson, and teacher assaults.

He advocated that pupils involved in any form of unrest or indiscipline boarding criminal activities in school be prosecuted.

Additionally, he proposed that students should not be readmitted to any institution.

The fourth chapter of the Constitution, The Bill of Rights, prohibits corporal punishment.
It is a protected section of the Constitution that cannot be altered without a vote of the people.
According to constitutional lawyer Nelson Havi, this complicates any effort to reinstate caning in school, as it would require a popular vote or referendum.

The law stipulates that every individual has the right to personal freedom and security, which includes the right not to be subjected to corporal punishment.

Article 53 (1) reaffirms that every child “has the right… to be protected from abuse, neglect, harmful cultural practices, all forms of violence, inhuman treatment and punishment, and hazardous or exploitative labour.”

The psychological impact

Thuranira Kaugiria, a psychiatrist and former director of the Mathare hospital, indicates that experiencing violence as a child has significant effects on mental, physical, and educational outcomes.

“Children spend more time in school than anywhere else outside the home, and schools are seen as safe spaces for students from abusive homes, but if violence is extended to school, they will opt out or their performance will suffer,” Kaugiria told The Standard.

In addition, he stated that studies have linked children who have experienced corporal punishment to a heightened hormonal reactivity to stress, overburdened biological systems, including the nervous, cardiovascular, and nutritional systems, and structural and functional changes in the brain.

But to cease using violent discipline, says Kaugiria, teachers must be equipped with a variety of alternative classroom discipline strategies.

W.H.O Reactions

According to the World Health Organization, corporal punishment is associated with a variety of negative outcomes for children.

This includes physical and mental illness, impaired cognitive and socioemotional development, poor educational outcomes, and increased aggression and violence.

In a report published in 2021, the WHO estimates that approximately 60 percent of children aged 2 to 14 routinely endure physical punishment at the hands of their parents or other caregivers.

Teachers Identified as Major Physical Abusers — Demographic Survey




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Peter N. Djangmah is a multifaceted individual with a passion for education, entrepreneurship, and blogging. With a firm belief in the power of digital education and science, I am affectionately known as the Private Minister of Information. Connect with me
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