from ouko joachim omolo
Colleagues Home & Abroad Regional News
BY FR JOACHIM OMOLO OUKO, AJ
THURSDAY, JANUARY 19, 2012
On Thursday December 30, 2011, it is reported that Mercy Chebet, a 14-year-old girl from Ketitui village in Kericho District committed suicide for scoring 145 marks in last year’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE). Chebet was in the state of despair, hopelessness-in other words, she had no hope in life.
According to Chebet’s fellow pupils, she had been warned by her parents that if she did not perform very well then she was unworthy being their child. Chebet had kept this in her mind all along, which is why according to villagers when she went to the school at around 11pm on Thursday December 30, 2011 accompanied by a friend to collect her results she was shocked to learn she had performed dismally.
Chebet was terribly depressed- she was in a state low mood and aversion. She was indeed very sad, anxious, empty, hopeless, helpless, worthless, guilty, irritable, and restless. She thought she was worthless and did not see the reason for life. Her parents and teachers considered her stupid.
Chebet was not alone. On Monday Jan 2 it is reported that in Kiamunyeki village in Nakuru County a 14-year-old boy Tony Muiya had to commit suicide, not only for scoring 218 marks but because he was forced to go back to Standard six for better marks. He was a pupil at Rurii Primary school.
Despite the fact that Tony refused to go back to Standard Six, his parents and teachers insisted he must do so. When he was finally forced to report to school on Thursday Jan 5, Tony never reached the school. He killed himself.
On Sunday January 8, it is reported that a 17-year-old pupil Stella Limo killed herself at home in Uswo village in Uasin Gishu County. Limo had wanted to be admitted to a local school because she said she suffered from nausea during long travels to Nairobi but her parents refused to listen to her plea.
Limo had expressed preference for Sing’ore Girls High in Keiyo North constituency but her parents did not want to listen to her, arguing Limo had no say in their house, therefore must adhere to what she is directed to do. In her suicide note Limo emphasised that no students from her former school should attend her funeral.
On Thursday January 19, East Africa Standard reports that two students committed suicide after they were told to repeat classes. George Chelagat, a Form Two student refused to be transferred from Rabondo Secondary, where teachers wanted him to repeat.
His parents had advised him to move to Kangeso Secondary School in Rongo but refused. He committed suicide by hanging himself.
For Robert Ochieng from Rachuonyo South District, at Kakelo Primary School in Kasipul division killed himself after being compelled to repeat Class Seven. The incident occurred at Kakelo village, Kakelo Kamroth location. The boy consumed an acaricide, which his mother uses for treating livestock.
Previously a head teacher of Kalyet Primary School in Narok, Mulot Division Mr Geoffrey Kiplang’at Sigei had to commit suicide after the school’s results were cancelled by the Kenya National Examinations Council over irregularities.
Before he committed suicide, Sigei had gone into hiding after learning that all his 38 candidates had failed to obtain their results since their English and Kiswahili scores were cancelled.
Some times the education system in Kenya is to blame for the problem. The problem began around 1997 – 1998 when the start of large scale cheating and exam leakage became a big concern. The leakage came as a result of high competition for the higher grades among Academy private schools.
This trend introduced the extra tuition where parents were forced to pay extra fee if they wanted their children to perform very well. This has made many teachers to do their own businesses and can no longer teach at school regularly.
The government is also to blame to some extent. One reason why teachers have opted for extra tuition is because the government does not pay them well. In such a scenario students from poor families become the victims.
This has created an opportunity for business in education system where exam papers are sold to students through the collaboration of their parents and the cartel’s agents some of whom are believed to belong to the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) employs.
The stealing has also gotten its way in colleges and universities where some incidences have been reported that some ladies write the answers to the questions on their thighs. They write on their thighs because it is very difficult for an invigilator, especially for men to check a woman’s thigh.
Knec boss Paul Wasanga recently told the Sunday Nation that private schools were involved in cheating and erecting “walls” that made it difficult for authorities to eradicate the vice.
In Uganda the story is the same. National Examinations Board yesterday withheld results of 1,040 candidates in the 2011 Primary Leaving Examinations because of cheating.
Kampala’s Godwin’s Primary School had the biggest number of pupils affected, totalling to 202, followed by Ntinkalu Primary School in Mayuge District with 46 pupils and Kako P/S in Masaka with 73 candidates.
Nyantongo P/S in Kyenjojo District had all its students affected even though Uneb did not indicate the number of pupils who sat at the school. The Uneb threw the blame on the district local leaders, school heads and invigilators.
The problem is not only in Africa. In India, an engineering student of Institute of Technology, Banaras, Hindu University (IT-BHU), committed suicide by hanging from the ceiling of his room in Dhanraj Giri Hostel on varsity campus on Tuesday afternoon.
Satyendra Singh, a student of MTech (VI semester) according to reports, on Tuesday morning, he and some other hostel inmates had gone to see the Technex-2012, an annual exhibition organised on the university campus, only not to come back to the hostel.
Though the reason behind the suicide could not become clear, hostel inmates were heard saying that Satyendra had become disturbed after January 13 incident in which a BSc-III year student, Monika Verma, had committed suicide in a similar way in her room of a private hostel in Nariya area. They said that on seeing Monika’s body, Satyendra had fainted after which he was also taken for medical counseling.
Suicide (Latin suicidium, from sui caedere, “to kill oneself”) is the act of intentionally causing one’s own death. It is often committed out of despair. Pressures or misfortunes such as financial difficulties, unemployment, divorce or troubles with interpersonal relationships often play a significant role.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that suicide is the thirteenth leading cause of death worldwide. National Safety Council rates it sixth in the United States and a leading cause of death among teenagers and adults under 35.
The rate of suicide is far higher in men than in women, with males worldwide three to four times more likely to kill themselves than females. This is because men are believed to be the providers and when the source for providing is not forthcoming is why the suicide.
Females often commit suicide when they feel they are not accepted, loved and respected by others and by her or his self. She feels she is worthless in the society. She believes she is a bad person, and feels bad about herself in general.
Psychologically all human beings are oriented towards being loved, the need for respect from others and the need for self-respect, or inner self-esteem.
Respect from others entails recognition, acceptance, status, and appreciation. By virtue of this reason, even the most evil human beings deserve respect and considered treatment.
People for Peace in Africa (PPA)
P O Box 14877