With the rising cases of child kidnapping, sexual assaults and drug abuse among school going children, parents and guardians have been cautioned to be vigilant during the one-week school break.
A Murang’a based religious leader Pastor Arthur Mwangi speaking during an occasion where team of well-wishers issued bursaries to needy students at a Murang’a school, said the increased cases of crimes against children are alarming and urged parents to always monitor the whereabouts of their children during the short vacation.
He said those who are targeting the innocent children may take advantage of the short holiday, thus parents need to keep their sons and daughters busy with domestic chores.
“Parents should realize that once their children are on school break, it is their responsibility to take care of them and provide guidance especially during these troubling times,” stated Mwangi.
His sentiments came barely a week after an incident where a class three pupil was defiled and killed in Kangema while on her way to fetch water. The incident that shocked many locals raised concerns on the safety of school children.
Mwangi noted that the safety of children should not be left only to respective parents, but also members of the community should join hands and protect the young ones.
“Let’s all take responsibility and report any incident that you see that’s is not safe for our children. We need to protect the future generation,” added the Pastor.
Speaking in the same occasion, head of special education schools in Kiharu Sub County Bernard Mwangi urged parents to embrace the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) and support a reading culture in their children.
Mwangi noted that with technological advancement, information is easily accessible online and may indulge children into social misfit.
He added that students often explore a lot of materials and information from internet which sometimes might have a negative effect.
“Parents and guardians should be on the lookout for the content and material that their children access in their mobile phones and make sure it is gainful and educational information,” Mwangi averred.
He continued, “Apart from academic excellence, parents still have the mantle of responsibility to ensure their children’s character and discipline is top notch.”
One of the guests in the event held at Shalom Academy, Engineer Duncan Waweru urged students to avoid peer pressure and engage themselves closely with their parents for any assistance.
“I urge you students to stay at home and be honest with your parents and avoid engaging yourself in indiscipline behaviors,” advised Waweru.
A local parent, Lucy Wangari noted that increased domestic violence cases have also contributed to high rate of indiscipline among children.
She said that as children grow up, they tend to copy their parents’ behaviour, thus parents must aspire to be good role models to their young ones at all times.
“Take care of your children’s mental health, be role models and avoid any abuse of drugs in their presence. Whatever you do has a major impact on your children,” Wangari cautioned.
By Bernard Munyao and Sarah Muthoni