Child rape

They spend the most time with children. Their calling is built on trust. But these are precisely the people parents should worry about most—teachers.

Shocking details of male teachers preying on teenage schoolgirls in exchange for favours were laid bare by the TSC yesterday.

A report by the employer exposes sexual predators taking cover under what is assumed to be one of the safest environments for children—the school.

The Teachers Service Commission said at least 1,077 male teachers have been identified as sexual offenders in the last eight years.

This means an average of 135 teachers every year are found to be having sex with learners.

The revelation comes months after a public outcry over teenage pregnancies exposed as students sat the KCPE and KCSE exams last year.

Kakamega county had the highest number of teachers dismissed, at 88, followed by Kisii (61), Homa Bay (60), Kitui (53), Bungoma (47) and Siaya (46).

The TSC interdicted 44 teachers in Machakos, Murang’a (37), Migori (39), Kiambu (36), Nakuru (35), Makueni (33), Vihiga (32), Nyamira (31), Kilifi (30), Nandi (28), Nyeri (27) and Narok (23).

Twenty-six teachers were sacked in both Nyandarua and Kwale counties while 21 were dismissed in Kisumu and a similar number in Taita Taveta and Busia counties.

The employer sacked 22 teachers in Kericho, Elgeyo Marakwet (19), Bomet (18), Meru (16), Uasin Gishu (14), Laikipia (14), Baringo (13), Kirinyaga (10), Tharaka Nithi (10), Turkana (nine), Kajiado (seven), Embu (9) and Samburu (five).

But TSC boss Nancy Macharia yesterday tried to play down the crisis.

“Most of the cases involved children from day schools. It, therefore, shows that sex did not happen in schoKakamega tops list of sex pest tutors – Teachers Service Commissionols. And most of the births do occur between September and October, pointing further to the fact that they got pregnant during holidays,” she told a joint Senate committee.

She presented the figures to the committee co-chaired by Bomet Senator Christopher Langat and Labour committee vice chairperson Alice Mlilgo.

The NCCK, Supkem, Muslims Education Council, Knut and the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops made submissions to the committee.

“The cases of teachers defiling students account for a minimal percentage, about two per cent. Members of the public continue to prey on learners for sex and reward the child victims with little favours,” Macharia said.

Knut yesterday said the union does not protect teachers who molest children sexually.

Kenya Secondary School Heads Association chairman Indimuli Kahi told the Star the association discourages teachers from giving any favours to learners.

Macharia complained of inadequate prosecution of offenders as most cases go unreported. Some offenders collude with parents to conceal incidents, thus preventing prosecution, she said.

Kenya Parents Association called for severe punishment of sexual offenders. “The rate of teen pregnancies is high in rural areas though TSC data has not shown that. But this is the truth and it is important this is addressed by the Interior ministry,” KPA chair Nicholas Maiyo  said.