The Star (Nairobi)

12 January 2013

Kenya: Pupil Forced to Repeat Class Kills Himself

A primary school pupil in Kenyenya district has committed suicide after he was forced to repeat standard seven

Zachary Arina 18, was a pupil at Gekongo primary school and committed suicide by drinking a pesticide after he was told to repeat standard seven by teachers.

On Wednesday, he reported to the school but teachers told him that he would not proceed to standard eight because he did not qualify.

After being told to repeat, he went home and drunk the pesticide, according to his mother Queen Arisa. He was rushed to Kenyenya district hospital where he died while undergoing treatment.

His body was moved to Kisii Level Five hospital.

Yesterday, Kenyenya District Education Officer Tom Omeno said investigations have been launched into the incident.

"I have sent a team to investigate the incident because forcing a pupil to repeat is illegal," said Omeno.

He said stern action will be taken against parents who force pupils and students to repeat classes.

Omeno said a circular was sent to all head teachers warning against forcing children to repeat classes.

"It is against government policy to force a child to repeat any class because it leads to wastage," he said.

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