Serjeant-at-Arms, ring the Quorum Bell for 10 minutes.
Order Members. When the bell is ringing, no one should go out. Hon. Wamboka, come back.
Serjeant-at-Arms, ring the bell for extra five minutes.
Order Members. Kindly halt the ringing of the bell. We have the required numbers.
Leader of the Majority Party.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, I beg to lay the following Papers on the Table: Reports of the Auditor-General and Financial Statements in respect of the following constituencies for the year ended 30th June 2022 and the certificates therein: (a) Kipkelion East; (b) Kipkelion West; (c) Embakasi West; (d) Embakasi Central; (e) West Mugirango; (f) South Imenti; (g) Suba South; (h) Suba North; (i) Dagoretti North; (j) Kitui East; (k) Kitui West; (l) Kitui Central; (m) Kitui South; (n) Kitui Rural; The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
(o) Pokot South; (p) Mwingi North; (q) Kirinyaga Central; (r) Bomet Central; (s) Kajiado West; (t) Narok West; (u) Kuresoi South; (v) Luanda; (w) Mt. Elgon; (x) Langata; (y) Matungulu; and, (z) Mwala.
This Bill has a balance of two hours and 43 minutes. Could the Clerks-at-the-Table confirm whether anyone was on their feet and whether it was seconded? I will give the first opportunity to the Member for Mbeere North, Hon. Geoffrey Ruku.
Hon. Murugara, do you have an intervention? Member for Mbeere North.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I rise to support this amendment Bill by Hon. David Gikaria. The Penal Code needs to be aligned with the letter and intent of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010. Most clauses in the Public Order Act are not aligned with the Constitution and it is good that the Member has noted the need to amend the Act to ensure that some misdemeanours within our society are well taken care of. Some of these misdemeanours require some form of punishment in case one goes overboard. This amendment Bill is quite funny because it even talks about issues to do with prostitution. We should not be a society that encourages prostitution, but one which fights against some of these vices.
I, therefore, support this amendment Bill by the Member for Nakuru.
Thank you. Member for Tharaka.
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I rise to support the proposed amendment to the Penal Code Act by Hon. David Gikaria, with the sole intention of repealing Section 182 of the Penal Code, which is Chapter 63 of the Laws of Kenya. When we were law students, there was a cluster of laws that we would call “anachronistic cobweb” of laws derived from the colonial government, some of them through famous reception clauses. Those were laws that we, as Africans, could not understand because The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
they used to be laws in another country, and by virtue of some date in our laws, they became applicable to our country. What exactly are we talking about when we refer to “idle and disorderly persons?” The idea of introducing Section 182 of the Constitution through Act No.40 of 1952 was to stop Africans from gathering in a manner that the white man could not understand. This was during the State of Emergency. Any time Africans were seen in a group, the white man would imagine that we were plotting on how to execute the Mau Mau rebellion in the country at that time. Therefore, there were several categories of people who were lumped together as being idle and disorderly, as a result of which they would get punished through a court of law, go to prison for about a month or pay a fine of not more than Ksh100. That is why the Act should be repealed. Why would anybody today be fined less than Ksh100 for doing any of the things that are set out here? That tells you that we have a lot of dead letter laws in our statutes, including the Penal Code, which needs to be repealed. One such dead letter law is this one on idle and disorderly persons. Hon. Temporary Speaker, it is totally demeaning and condescending for anyone to term another person as “prostitute.” While we use better terms today, including “commercial sex workers” and other terminologies, calling somebody a prostitute is demeaning. It should not be entertained in our statute books. What exactly does it mean to “behave in an indecent manner in any public place?” We need a definition of what “indecency” is because we may purport to know what a “public place” is but a nightclub or refreshment areas where people go at night are public places. The mode of dressing in those areas is in consonance with them. Therefore, why would a lady be told that she is indecently dressed or is exposing herself? Clause (b) talks about “every person causing, procuring or encouraging any person to beg or gather alms.” That is totally un-African. Africans have no problem with moving from one household to another asking for relief food especially when there is drought. Is that begging? Does anybody who tells another one to do it so that they do not starve to death encouraging idle and disorderly conduct? We also have poor, vulnerable, blind and disabled people who are less privileged. Is it disorderly conduct if they beg for alms? Clause (d) talks about “every person who publicly conducts himself in a manner likely to cause a breach of the peace.” Again, what does it mean to conduct yourself in a manner likely to cause a breach of the peace? We need a definition of that. We have recently been seeing maandamano and picketing which we were told were lawful and constitutional. We were told that those who were in maandamano were conducting themselves in a manner that was contrary to the law, including breach of peace. We need a definition of this, so that we do not lump everybody together.
I have looked at these proposed amendments. I support that we actually repeal this law. We should look at the entire Penal Code, so that we remove all the laws that were brought in to try and curtail African freedom. This will enable us to reach where other societies have reached today.
With those remarks, I support the repeal of Section 182 of the Penal Code, Cap. 63 of the Laws of Kenya.
Thank you. Hon. Phylis Bartoo, Member for Moiben, are you willing to speak to this one?
All right, let us hear Hon. Joseph Munyoro, Member for Kigumo.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to contribute. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
I rise to support the Bill by Hon. Gikaria on repealing of the Penal Code, especially on the issue of being idle and disorderly - which cannot be defined properly. It is abused, especially to arrest our young people in shopping centres. Being jobless does not mean you are idle and disorderly. As Hon. Murugara has said, these are laws which were basically meant to emasculate the black person during the colonial times. We were unable to congregate and speak with one voice. This is the right time to repeal this section. It talks about “a person causing, procuring or encouraging any person to beg or gather for alms.” We know that there are many people who are in dire need in our society. It is not African for you to turn people away if they are hungry and they do not have food. That should not be criminalized. We have suffered thoroughly from drought and famine. Telling people not to go and beg might be introducing issues we do not understand into our society. For that reason, I think it should be repealed. There is another clause which states that “every person who, without lawful excuse, publicly does any indecent act...” This needs to be defined. For example, we have societies where people dress in shukas . How do you define them? This is our culture. It is important for the law to be clear so that it is not abused or disenfranchises some people. We have also not been very clear when we say that someone “behaves in a manner likely to cause a breach of peace.” What does that mean? Is it shouting or fighting in public? I do not know. We need a definition. I support this amendment Bill. We need to look at the law and the Penal Code, so that we know the areas that do not serve any purpose. We should not try to emasculate and oppress our people with laws that were made by the colonialists so that they could handle us. With those remarks, I support the Bill.
Member for Kiambaa, Hon. John Kawanjiku.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I also rise to support the repeal of the Penal Code. We have dealt with traditional and colonial laws that were imposed on us for a long time. It is high time for us, as a country, to sit down and repeal the Penal Code because of our society, the civilization that is coming around and population density. There is the issue of gathering. How do we define some of the issues like “idle and disorderly person?” How do you define such a person in Kenya today? Therefore, I believe it is high time we repealed this bit of the Penal Code. There is the issue of gathering and some of the issues we experienced lately. People can gather and discuss issues because of lack of employment in our country. Our young people gather within a certain village trying to discuss issues or maybe the Bunge la Wananchi that we have in the country. How do you define “being disorderly?” It is high time we supported this Bill to repeal some parts of the Penal Code. We should come up with better laws that will help to facilitate our young people. At the end of the day, people will be lawful in the society. We have also experienced gatherings and maandamano. There is also the part that the Government plays. It should create employment for our young people by supporting industrialization within our society, so that we can deal with what we are defining as being an idler. The Penal Code also talks about “every person causing, procuring or encouraging any person to beg or gather alms.” We must define what is “being idle.” It also says that “every person who is in any public place soliciting for immoral purposes…” We cannot define such terms contained in the Penal Code without coming out clearly and saying either what we are doing to rise against it or help people who are idle within our society. Therefore, I support the Bill.
Hon. Njeri Maina, Member for Kirinyaga.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I was just telling Hon. Ruku that he needs to vacate, so that I can address the House. As a The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Member of the Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs, I rise to support repealing of the Penal Code in collective nature. I remember when I was a young student at the University of Nairobi, sometimes you would just be walking from the main campus to the Law School and some police officers would bundle you into their car and say that you were loitering or walking in a disorderly manner. We cannot afford to have a vague law in place. Anything that is vague is prone to abuse. As Hon. Kawanjiku said, these are laws that were put in place during the colonial times to contain Africans. I believe it is high time we repealed the same to ensure that we have progressive laws that cater for our communities’ needs. Thank you.
Member for Kitui West, Hon. Nyenze. Member for Sirisia, Hon. Waluke. He is also not in the House. I have been told that Hon. Nyenze had spoken to this Bill. There being no further interest in this Bill, we will close debate. The Mover will be called upon to reply.
Member for Marakwet West, Hon. Timothy Toroitich.
Hon. Members, Order No. 11 will not be handled now. Next Order.
Hon. Members, the Member who is supposed to move this Motion, Hon. Brighton Yegon, is not in the House. Hon. Members, if you have a Motion on the Order Paper be in the House or write to the Hon. Speaker to seek leave of absence.
Hon. Machua Waithaka is also not in the House.
PUBLIC HEALTH CONCERNS AT LANG’ATA CEMETERY The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
THAT, aware that, Article 42 of the Constitution provides for the right of every person to a clean and healthy environment; further aware that Article 69 of the Constitution obligates the State to ensure sustainable utilization of the environment and natural resources including land; recognizing that the Fourth Schedule to the Constitution assigns to the national government the function of land planning including the general principles of land planning and the coordination of the planning by counties, as well as matters of health policy; further recognizing that there is ongoing public outcry regarding the neglect of Lang’ata public cemetery which was declared full close to two decades ago; concerned that this matter has been left unaddressed and poses a significant health risks to the public; deeply concerned that this situation has led to overcrowding and double-allocation of burial sites with bodies being buried in shallow graves leading to frequent uncovering by wild animals from the nearby national park; further concerned that this has caused untold anguish, pain and suffering to bereaved families and psychological torment to the neighbouring community; now therefore, this House urges the national Government through the Ministry of Health to urgently conduct an assessment of the public health risks posed by the continued use of the Lang’ata Cemetery, and to institute mitigatory measures and collaborate with other stakeholders, including the Nairobi City County Government, to identify suitable alternative land for use as a cemetery.
On a point of order, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
Hon. Ferdinand Wanyonyi, what is out of order?
Nothing serious. However, looking at the mood of the House, we need to exchange ideas on these important Motions. I was suggesting that…
Order, Hon. Member! Hon. Ferdinand Wanyonyi, this House is very serious on this debate. Standing them down does not mean they will not come back to the Order Paper. Allow us to continue. Next Order.
This Motion is supposed to be moved by Hon. Mark Mwenje. He is not in the House.
Again, these are very serious Motions. The Mover, Hon. John Makali is also missing in the House.
This Motion is supposed to be moved by Hon. Moses Kirima, who is also not in the House.
To be moved by Hon. Jessica Mbalu. She is also not in the House.
The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Hon. Members, this is an embarrassing moment for the National Assembly. The Hon. Speaker yesterday alluded to getting more time for Private Members’ Bills and Private Members’ Motions. We have slotted them very well this morning. Even this one on environment is to be moved by Hon. Umulkher Kassim. Unfortunately, the Hon. Member is not in the House.
This Motion is supposed to be moved by Hon. Peter Salasya, who is also not in the House.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, I beg to move the following Motion: THAT, aware that improving public health is a fundamental responsibility of the Government and it is imperative to address pressing health problems faced by young people, including poor sexual and reproductive health, inadequate knowledge and information regarding sexual health and protection against sexually transmitted infections; concerned that the current state of adolescent health training programmes are inadequate and fragmented resulting in limited access to health care information and services by the youth in the country; further concerned that as a result of this, young people face significant barriers in accessing comprehensive health care; cognizant that comprehensive sexual education through school-based programmes, community-based programmes and health care facilities can promote healthy sexual practices amongst young people and reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections, lower the incidences of teenage pregnancies thus increasing school attendance and retention; now therefore, this House resolves that the National Government through the State Department of Basic Education introduces comprehensive health, wellness and sex education in the curriculum as a core subject in schools. Hon. Temporary Speaker, we must agree as a nation that young people in this nation do not have the right information when it comes to matters health and sex education. I ran a campaign in Kirinyaga County dubbed the “Triple Threat Campaign” which was against teenage pregnancies, sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and mental health. What we learned from the campaign when we engaged professionals to talk to our young children in schools is disheartening. We are living in an era of social media platforms that are clearly unregulated by the Government. We have seen what happens in developed nations like the United Kingdom and the United States of America. I am working on stringent measures to ensure that they have access to information. Some of these platforms offer misleading information to our young people. If our young people do not have the right information, they are prone to think and believe what they see on the social media platforms. We live in a nation where we can say we have seen the church up in arms about moral decay. Access to the right and correct sexual information is not a question of morality. It is a question of enabling our children to make the right decision when it comes to protecting themselves. The education that is taught in the curriculum is not adequate to ensure that our children are empowered when it comes to protecting themselves. We had a case in Kirinyaga County where the rate of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) was too high among young people that it caused an uproar. I am asking myself, what are we doing about it? What is this House doing to protect the future of our children? We can no longer afford to fold our hands and expect the situation to resolve itself. We cannot wish away social media. We have seen the discussion. If you go to The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
, sometimes very weird things go on at around midnight. What do we expect our young children, who do not have the right information to do? That is why I beg this House to resolve to introduce comprehensive sexual and health education in the school curriculum. This is so that we empower our children to make the right decisions when it comes to protecting themselves. A Bill on the same matter was proposed by this House in the last Parliament. There was an uproar on social media that we were telling our children to engage in sex. We are not telling our children to engage in sexual activities. We are telling them to wait for the right time. However, if the children find themselves in such a scenario, we do not want them to contract HIV/AIDS or any other STI. They should protect themselves. We are giving the children an option. We cannot bury our heads in the sand anymore. Hon. Temporary Speaker, I beg to move and ask Hon. Naomi Waqo to second the Motion.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I thank Hon. Jane Maina for coming up with this Motion. It is important for us to deliberate on this matter. It is important for us to debate the matter because issues to do with health are vital. It is the responsibility of the Government to give every citizen equal opportunity. Every citizen has the right to the highest attainable standards of health. This includes the right to healthcare services as well as mental care. From colonial times to date, many counties in our country have benefited a lot in terms of getting the best healthcare. However, people in many other counties still suffer because they have been marginalised for many years. They do not have good hospitals or healthcare centres. They do not have the special care that they need and, as a result, many people have lost their lives. Today our learners, especially the young ones, are exposed a lot to social media. They interact with very many sites through their phones or those of their parents. As Africans, we avoid talk on sex and sex education. Some of us feel that it is embarrassing to talk about such issues while some feel that it is taboo to discuss with our children. However, children get exposed to sex in many different ways. Some children go to the extent of even practising and getting into sexual acts while still young. I support this Motion because introducing health education as a subject at the school level will help our young people to understand the risks that exist. In our country today, there are too many young people affected by teenage pregnancies. This is because they have not been educated properly. The percentage of young girls who have experienced teenage pregnancies is quite high. Some of our counties also suffer as a result of teenage pregnancies because we do not talk about such issues and the dangers they pose. When a 14-year-old girl is expectant, her education is interfered with and her future ruined. Sometimes the girls are infected with different diseases. In some cases, the girls end up being infected with HIV/AIDS. That is why the rate of HIV/AIDS in our country is quite high compared to past years. Currently, young people aged between 15 and 25 years are the most affected by this disease. It is important to give this Motion all the attention it deserves to make sure that we help our young people to understand and prepare themselves in terms of their health. It is advisable that our children abstain from sex so that they concentrate on their education. However, abstinence alone is no longer tenable. If one is not able to abstain, then it is good that we educate our children well. This will ensure that they are well equipped and knowledgeable enough. Even if they engage in sex, they can do so wisely so that they prevent STIs. This will help them secure their future. As we talk about sex education, we cannot avoid talking about mental health. Many young people are depressed as a result of the frustrations they have gone through. Some girls are depressed because of sexual harassment in school by their schoolmates or their lecturers The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
and teachers. In normal circumstances, a girl is supposed to defend herself and refuse sexual advances. However, they are misled in many ways such that they get into trouble. At the end of the day, they end up depressed. Thus, mental healthcare is another area we must focus on. We need to have counselling departments in every school so that learners who have had such challenges can be counseled. This will help them to overcome the challenges. All health centres should also have counselling department so that those who suffer from mental health can get help. Sex education is very important. It is paramount. It is better for us to educate young people now. Prevention is better than cure. We should not wait for problems to occur. We are already in a mess as a country because too many young people are out of schools as a result of lack of sex education. Many of them are infected and affected by the challenges they have encountered. It is time for us, as parents, to sit with our children and talk to them. Even before schools introduce sex education, it is good for us to encourage every parent to talk about these issues with their children. We should go back to our traditions where parents or grandparents sit with children and have some discussion in the evening. Many people are busy these days but during the holidays it is good for us to introduce family time so as to be with our children and grandchildren. This will enable us to talk about these important subjects. Our children are suffering for lack of knowledge in some areas. No one is able to talk to them as parents are too busy. Grandparents feel that the children are more educated than them and, therefore, they have nothing to offer. It is time for us to encourage grandparents and parents to sit with their children and talk. We need to go back to our cultural practices where parents would sit with their children and discuss everything. As Africans, we avoided talk about sex matters, but it is high time we opened up and discussed those issues with our children. The rate at which our young girls are getting pregnant and dropping out of school is something that we need to talk about seriously. This will help us salvage the situation. Where there is no vision, people perish. Visionary leaders and parents talk about the future, the past and the current. We are preoccupied with different things and businesses that we have no time for our children. It is high time that, as a nation, we came up with a culture of sitting down with our children and discussing not just sex matters but also matters to do with the economy, marriage life and other things. Many young people are suffering in marriage because they cannot sustain themselves. Young men are not faithful and girls get married to people who frustrate them thus they suffer bringing up children. Proper education and teaching our children the right thing to do at the right time is the only way that can save the situation we are in currently. I congratulate Hon. Jane Maina for coming up with this very important Motion to help the current and future generations. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
Hon. Martha Wangari): The first opportunity will go to Hon. Phyllis Bartoo, Member for Moiben.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I rise on behalf of my constituents of Moiben, Uasin Gishu County, to support the Motion by Hon. Jane Maina from Kirinyaga County on developing a curriculum which involves sex education in Kenya. This particular policy has come of age in Kenya due to the fact that we are experiencing a great transformation through digitisation. Young people, especially adolescents, get access to a lot of information way beyond their age. It is important to include sex education in the school curriculum. If you visit any homestead with adolescent children, you will find that The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
almost all of them have mobile phones. They access the internet and thus come across all manner of information on multiple issues, including pornography - which they are not supposed to be exposed to. Hon. Temporary Speaker, in order to navigate through this space, we should look at our school curriculum. At the moment, the curriculum is packed with a lot of content but little attention has been paid to sexuality. Adolescents have a lot of challenges. For example, some of them do not understand the growth process of their bodies. This information needs to be given to them. Some go through menstrual cycles without their knowledge. Some of them get involved in sexual activities at a very young age. Research has shown that 2 per cent of Kenyan children aged between 15 and 19 years have had sexual experience. Some end up getting pregnant and acquiring sexually transmitted diseases. Others have dropped out of school just because they did not have the advantage of getting information about their bodies. Our cultures have also changed. We no longer have situations where parents sit with their children to discuss cultural issues, including sex matters. How do we alleviate this? Students stay in school most of the time. We have those who go to school at five o’clock in the morning and return home very late in the evening. We also have those who are taken to boarding schools at a very tender age and remain in school throughout and only go home for very few days or weeks. How will such children get to know about some issues that affect their bodies? The only way through which we can intervene in this matter is by bringing on board a curriculum which teaches them in entirety how their body systems operate. We might think about going back to our cultures where children and parents sit and converse about these issues, but we have people who have migrated to urban areas and are detached from their cultures. Such people no longer understand, or are no longer connected to their traditions. Sometimes it is not easy for parents to sit with their children and discuss such matters, especially considering that some parents still look at it as taboo. Look at period shaming. It is still very difficult even for us to discuss menstruation of our girls publicly, or even for a girl to go to a supermarket and buy a sanitary pad, because in some cultures they feel it is embarrassing for girls because of their upbringing, self-esteem and many factors which surround the upbringing of a child. In as much as it might take time to include sex education in the school curriculum, I wish we could start the conversation in schools. We can have speakers sponsored by the Ministry of Education visiting schools to educate adolescents on matters of sexuality. In as much as we talk about pregnancies and other issues, HIV/AIDS is still a problem. In the past, it was seen as a disease that is only sexually transmitted. That conversation is still very prevalent in some communities of Kenya. It is not just a case of sexual transmission. We also have infected children who were born by infected parents.
How do we speak to them? Some parents might not have the courage to sit their children down and explain to them that they are in the situation because they were born like that. How do we have this conversation with a child who is disadvantaged in that way? We can only do that through our education system. This Motion is important and timely in Kenya. We have young people aged between15 to19 years who might not be privileged to understand. I know it is a very controversial issue and many people might see it from different perspectives. However, it is high time we face reality, sit and have a conversation with ourselves. We should tell where the boys and girls who might not be privileged to get such information will get it. Where do they get it? The curriculum in our schools is so packed now. We have the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) and many transformations going on in our schools. This is the right time to introduce such a policy, to start from the beginning and move along with the system.
I support this Motion. It should be done like yesterday. I can see my time is up. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I support the Motion. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Thank you. The next chance will go to the Member for Kitui South, Hon. Racheal Nyamai.
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for giving me this opportunity. First, I congratulate Hon. Jane, who is the Member for Kirinyaga County, for coming up with this important Motion on the establishment and promotion of comprehensive health education within our education system. Many governments have tried to introduce this topic in our education system. At times, it faces different challenges due to our societal system and the belief that talking about sexuality is a taboo. Other challenges are local and international. I support the introduction of comprehensive health promotion within our schools so that children understand their bodies and themselves early enough. That is to help them know how to protect themselves, be confident, and understand who they are. Whether they are male or female, they are more confident in life and more likely to succeed.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, we are not able to talk about comprehensive health education without talking about HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. It is important that health education, especially about HIV/AIDS, be discussed openly within our school system and among children from a very young age. That is so that they protect themselves and other children who maybe within families where parents are either infected or affected. I would also like to point out that comprehensive health education is about not only HIV/AIDS and sexual education. It will also focus on the children’s bodies to know how to take care of themselves, and the importance of being physically active so that we do not have obese children. When children are obese, they end up getting other diseases.
When focusing on the introduction of health promotion, it needs to be done in a child- friendly way. I am aware of programmes the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) introduced. They tried to introduce child-friendly participatory health education. They tried to use churches, communities, leaderships within Parliament, and leaderships within our counties. That is so that children, parents and community leaders are more comfortable on engaging children about sexual health education. These efforts have not been very successful. Even as the House passes this Motion and hopefully discusses it as a Bill, I recommend that we focus on having comprehensive child-friendly health education promotion so that our children and adults feel free. If our children do not get comprehensive health education from our schools and they do not get it from their parents, they will get it from the strangers. We do not know how this is going to happen. We are already seeing the effects of children getting to know about their bodies from strangers. We also have computers because of online teaching. Children are tempted to go beyond the class and check other aspects within information technology. Some may find themselves coming across sexual education. We would rather do it in our schools, churches, communities, as Parliament, and through our education system so that children do not get to learn from strangers. I would also like to focus on our TV channels. We have local TV channels that are not 100 per cent easy to control on what our children see. I know the Government has been clear on what you can air during the day and up to around 9.00 p.m. However, there are children who are up until late and can see so many other things that our system does not expect them to see. Additionally, our children are exposed to international television channels where they can see almost everything they would like to see. I encourage that it is time our children are educated so that they know how far they can go in terms of what they see on these channels. I encourage that this be done within our education system so that we control the kind of information our children consume.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, I also encourage linkages where children can be exposed through mentorship by people who can speak to them confidently about health education promotion. This will require huge financing and the country looking at countries like the The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Scandinavian ones that have succeeded—Denmark, Norway and Sweden. These children are not very different from ours. It is extremely important that our children are taught who we are and our moralities in this era of LGBTQ. I am not trying to say that health education should be morality education. There is a big difference between the two. Thank you very much for giving me a chance to give contribution to this Motion as I congratulate the Member for Kirinyaga for coming up with it.
Member for Langata.
Thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to contribute on the Motion tabled by Hon. Jane Maina on the introduction of comprehensive health education as a core subject in schools. As much as I support this, Hon. Njeri must tell us how comprehensive is comprehensive. What is it that she wants to be taught? What should be included in the curriculum? We already have health education in our schools. We have reproduction health in the curriculum of our schools. We already have health education in the curriculum. When you talk about comprehensive, what is comprehensive? How comprehensive should it be? What is it that she wants to be taught in schools that is not covered within the existing curriculum?
On another note, she talked about the control of our social media channels. As a content creator, it is true that time has come when we must talk about what our children consume on social media. Social media has been evolving day in day out. We started from Facebook. We are now on Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Threads, and now on the mighty TikTok where millions of young Kenyans subscribe to the channels and content.
Millions of young Kenyans are subscribed to the social media channels and its contents. When she talked about TikTok, I really got concerned because it is no longer the friendly channel or the social media platform that we knew. She talked about it turning into a pornography site late in the night. We know that our children either have our phones or we have bought them phones to use. We must therefore, start with regulation of what our children learn from these social media channels before somebody else gets to teach them. Hon. Njeri Maina must stand up and tell us, when she talks about comprehensive health education, what does it mean? What does she want taught? What is lacking in the curriculum that we already have in our school system? Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Speaker for this opportunity.
(Hon. (Dr) Rachael Nyamai): Thank you very much Hon. Odiwuor. Hon. Kailemia, Member for Meru County.
(Meru County, UDA)
(Hon. ( Dr) Rachael Nyamai): Thank you very much. Hon. Edith Nyenze, Member for Kitui West. Hon. Edith Nyenze is not in the House even though her name is appearing on our screen. Hon. Jayne Kihara, Member for Naivasha.
(Hon. (Dr ) Rachael Nyamai): Thank you very much, Member for Naivasha. Hon. Suzanne Kiamba, Member for Makueni Constituency.
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I also wish to make my contribution to this very important Motion which affects our children. First and foremost, I think it is a worthwhile debate because our children are our future. A Member asked what comprehensive health information is. I think as we talk about its introduction so far in Kenya, we have a lot of health education in our schools.
(Hon. (Dr) Rachael Nyamai): One minute, Member for Makueni County. What is out of order Hon. Kawanjiku, Member for Kiambaa? You have placed an intervention. Is anything out of order?
Hon. Temporary Speaker, there is nothing out of order. I want to say we also want to participate as far as fathers and daughters are concerned. So, give us an opportunity.
(Hon. (Dr) Rachael Nyamai): There is nothing out of order. I can see you are next on the list. So, be patient. Proceed Member for Makueni.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I wish to make my contribution on this important Motion. I think the big debate is how comprehensive our education is. Today, in Kenya we cannot talk about introducing health education because already it is being taught in our schools and is in the curriculum. There is need to identify where the gap is because sometimes, we have foreign ideologies being promoted in the name of health education which is against our African values. When we talk about sexual health education this includes issues like; lesbianism, homosexuality among others. First, we need to understand the limits when talking about comprehensive health education. Second, it is important to realise that whatever children do whether right or wrong is not because of lack of information. I think we are seriously messing the value system. Our children have a lot of information both sexual and health but we tend to be very weak with our value system. When exposed to situations, what decisions will they make? I find it very discouraging when we think that only schools should give information. In my view, we are missing the fact that education in our homes is quite inadequate. I do not think there is an education system that can replace parenthood. In my own opinion, there is a tendency especially among young parents to think the education system can do what parents need to. There is no way we can continue loading it to replace the role of parenthood. Parents play a role in terms of establishing very clear value systems for their children. The information which our children have whether from social media, televisions or other sources is subjected to their value systems. If their values are wanting, no matter how much information we give them, the choices they make will be harmful to them. So, as we discuss this Motion on comprehensive health education, it is very important to include sexual health education, so we can identify the gaps and address them. There is a feeling that people need a quick fix and a growing wave among parents who fear their daughters becoming pregnant. So, what do they do? They make them aware of all the preventive methods. I am not negating this but in Africa we have a value system which we must protect. While I appreciate the Motion brought by Hon. Maina, I think it is important we critically look at it and identify the gaps which undermine our culture and values so they are addressed. Is it a matter of encouraging sexual education so our children will tell us they have a right to marry whoever they want whether a man or woman? I do not think this is what we The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
need in Africa. If sexual education is taught in our primary schools, our children will learn about family planning and how they can plan for families they do not have. It is important for us to realise that even the devices we expose our children to at an early age are a bigger problem than a baby they might bring home as a result of early pregnancy. As we support this Motion, it is important to be very cautious on the issues we will put across in relation to comprehensive health education for our children. Lastly, looking at CBC, parents, teachers and children hardly sleep. Are you suggesting in this House we continue congesting the curriculum? In my view, these are issues of parenthood and parents should not run away from their responsibilities in the name of curriculum in schools which the Government needs to pay for. This is my contribution to this Motion which I support with precaution. We need to unpack comprehensive health education for our children. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
(Hon. (Dr) Rachael Nyamai): Thank you. Hon. John Kawanjiku, Member for Kiambaa.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I was a bit concerned being a father of daughters because I want to contribute to this very emotive debate. We are talking about sexuality with regard to our children and what we should do as parents to ensure we guard and protect them with all we have to ensure their future is bright. I want to congratulate the Member for Kirinyaga County who is a very young lady. That is why it is very important for us to support this Motion because it makes a lot of sense. Health and sex education are emotive issues and will bring a lot of controversy as far as churches are concerned. I think it is very important for us to say the truth. We can no longer continue burying our heads in the sand whereas what is happening outside there is worrying. Previous speakers have talked about the issue of social media like TikTok and Facebook. At night if you go to TikTok, you realise we need regulations to control what is happening because it is quite alarming. Pornography and sexual activities are happening on TikTok sites. We need to come up with a Bill or Motion on the need to educate our children and tell them that sex is a way of life and at the end of the day, there are things they should hold on to until they attain a certain age. We have seen a discussion on social media where teachers tell children when they go home during the long holidays, that they should not allow anyone to touch certain parts of their bodies. This is emotive and good because we need to educate and tell them what should not be done to them at a certain age. We should set age limits for these studies and maybe they should begin in junior high school. We can agree that between grades six, seven and eight, we can begin very comprehensive talks about sexual matters and be told the truth. They should not experience it out there practically. They can be taught as we were taught during biology lessons in secondary school. We need to teach them these issues so that they can take care of themselves. We even have children who are mothers and fathers taking care of very young children. Parents sometimes bear this burden. At the end of the day, if a child gets pregnant at Class Six or Seven and cannot take care of the baby, the burden is transferred to the parent. Therefore, we need to agree on this. Do we go with the age of 11, early adulthood or puberty? This is a discussion that we will probably have as a nation. If we do not do this and continue to bury our heads in the sand, this will eventually come to bite us. On the issue of social media, parents need to have this conversation with their children. I am a father of an 11-year-old girl, and I sometimes wonder whether I should talk to her as far as her life and the body changes she is experiencing are concerned. We need to allow the Government to develop a curriculum that will address some of those particular health issues like HIV/AIDS. We cannot ignore and assume that HIV/AIDS is no longer in existence. This is happening in our country. If you look at the statistics that were released the other day, in The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
areas like Nairobi, because of urbanization and civilization, children are engaging in sexual activities as early as at 11 years. We had a case of a grandfather in Murang’a who raped a 5- year-old granddaughter. It is very disgusting to even think about it. We need to talk to them about the dangers of HIV/AIDS. We also need to know their expectations. There are some communities that have continued to discuss issues of sex between aunties and nieces, or between grandmothers and granddaughters. They are able to know how to deal with men and know their sexual needs when they arise. Some of those communities go to villages to conduct sex education. The education may not necessarily be conducted by the teachers or through a curriculum, but it can also be community based. We need to go back to our cultures. I congratulate Mheshimiwa Jane.
Jayne Kihara has told us that those were the things they were taught by their grandmothers; taking care of families at a certain age and sex education. We saw a culture that was well governed and taken care of. The women and men were well educated as far as those matters were concerned. Even if it talks about the community, we can establish that conversation. We can no longer shy away from this conversation. We need to sit with our daughters and sons and educate them on what to expect when they get to a certain age. Some of the cultures that are still educating their children on those issues have found a way to fight the stigma that comes with early parenthood and HIV/AIDS. We cannot be ignorant. There is a saying that ‘‘ignorance has no defence.’’ What is the Government supposed to do to create awareness to the school-going children? We can agree on ages that should be taught sex education; it can be from the junior secondary schools. We can also vet the kind of information that is released to them.
On the issue of responsibility and accountability, parents need to support their children. We cannot give children who are in Class Five gadgets like laptops and phones to make them happy. They can access pornography through the internet. The next thing is that they will want to experience whatever they are watching on phones and television channels back at home. We need more accountability and responsibility as far as our children are concerned. Countries in Europe and United Kingdom (UK) have been able to educate their children. If I post something on social media like TikTok, you have no control of your child seeing it. This is something you may not know how to control. The best thing to do is to make them aware of the situation and the happenings in their lives; that while it is not a bad thing, it happens at a certain age and area. Sex education is a discussion that is welcome as far as our country and this House is concerned. This is a House of laws. We need to make it mandatory for all public primary schools. The Ministry of Education should introduce guidance and counselling on sex education and those who teach them should ensure that they understand whatever is happening in their lives and the country. I support.
(Hon. (Dr) Rachael Nyamai): Thank you, Hon. Kawanjiku. Hon. Richard Yegon, Member for Bomet East.
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to weigh in on this very emotive issue. As my colleagues have said, this Motion is long overdue. In our areas and the country at large, most children have gone through a lot; some get pregnant in primary schools. This is because children are not educated on the progress in their lives. It is high time that we put in place a mechanism to ensure that children are taught about all that is happening in their lives so that they can know what can be done and what cannot be done. In this time and age when we have incurable diseases like HIV/AIDS, we need to sensitise children to know the dangers associated with it so that they can take care of themselves. Children can easily access phones and watch pornography through the internet. If The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
we do not teach them and allow teachers to educate them about sex, it will be difficult for them to know what is happening and easily fall prey as victims of child abuse. I will not take much time. I support this Motion and request those who have not contributed to support it because it is for posterity: our children should be aware of whatever is happening in their lives. Thank you very much. I support.
(Hon. (Dr) Rachael Nyamai): Thank you. Hon. Fatuma Masito, Member for Kwale County.
Nakushukuru Mhe. Spika wa Muda kwa kunipatia nafasi hii. Pia, ninamshukuru Mjumbe wa Kirinyaga, Bi. Jane Maina, kwa kuleta Hoja hii mbele ya Bunge hili. Langu litakuwa tu onyo kidogo. Kama tunavyosema tumeiweka wazi na kusema ni comprehensive, au kwa upana, tunataka kuwe na hii elimu ya kujamiiana katika shule, lazima tuwe na tahadhari. Kwa sababu, tukiiweka kwa upana zaidi kuliko vile ilivyo, huenda kukatokea mambo ambayo yataingizwa ndani yake na kudhuru vijana wetu. Tunaujua mtaala mzima wa jambo hili la elimu ya kujamiiana kwa Kiswahili. Ni jambo ambalo linaweza kuleta madhara makuu, na itakuwa sivyo tulivyokuwa tumeelekeza kidole chetu. Inaweza kuleta madhara na ikatudhuru sisi. Mimi kama Mjumbe kutoka sehemu ya Kwale, ninasema kuwe na utaratibu maalum wa kukinga na kupenyeza maneno ambayo hatukuwa tumeyatarajia. Tunajua kwa kweli watoto wetu wanahitaji hii elimu na kufunzwa ni jinsi gani miili yao imegeuka, na kupokea hisia zingine tofauti zinazoonyesha kuwa wao wamekuwa watu wazima. Wao pia hupenda kuonja au kujaribu kila kitu wanachokisikia na wanachokiona. Tunajua mitandao imefungua njia zote. Watoto wanajua mambo mengi yaliyo katika ulimwengu kushinda hata sisi wazazi.
On a point of information, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
(Hon. (Dr) Rachael Nyamai): Just one minute, Member for Kwale County. I can see an intervention by the Mover of this Motion, Hon. Jane Njeri Maina. Point of information?
Mhe. Spika wa Muda, ninataka nimfahamishe rafiki yangu kutoka Kwale kwamba...
(Hon. (Dr) Rachael Nyamai): Would you like to be informed, Member for Kwale County?
Yes. She is welcome. Thank you.
(Hon. (Dr) Rachael Nyamai): I am also inclined to allow her to inform you. You may proceed.
Shukran, Mhe. Spika wa Muda. Ninataka nimfahamishe kwamba huu si mjadala kuhusu kijamii, ni mjadala ambao yale ambayo tutapendekeza katika hili Bunge yatatengenezwa na kuundwa kulingana na sheria za Kenya. Kwa hivyo, hayatakiuka sheria ambazo tuko nazo sasa hivi. Shukran.
Asante sana, Mhe. dadangu Jane kwa kunifahamisha hivyo. Yangu tu ilikuwa ni kutilia mkazo. Tunajua kuna utaalam mwingi na hususan Wajumbe wale wanaojua sana maswala ya sheria. Mara nyingine muwe mkifafanua zaidi kwetu sisi ili tuelewe zaidi. Kwa hivyo ninasema asante. Nilikuwa nimefikia pale kwa kusema, sehemu kama ile ninayotoka ya Kwale, vijana wengi wameathirika na swala hili la kujamiiana au sex education, kwa lugha ya Kimombo. Hii ni kwa sababu tumetoka sehemu ya mashambani. Vijana hawana ujuzi wa mambo mengi sana, na wanapenda sana kujaribu jaribu kila kitu kile wanaona. Wakipata zile simu za rununu na kuziangalia, wanaona mambo ambayo ni ya kusisimua na kuvutia. Inamfanya aseme ‘wacha pia mimi nijaribu’. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Kwa hivyo, dadangu Jane, Mhe. kutoka sehemu ya Kirinyaga, nimekuunga mkono kwa Hoja hii uliyoileta mbele ya Bunge hili, na niko pamoja na wewe. Asante sana, Mhe. Spika wa Muda.
(Hon. (Dr) Rachael Nyamai): Asante sana, Mbunge wa Kwale. Hon. Florence Jematiah, Member for Baringo County.
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Speaker. From the outset, I thank my colleague, Hon. Njeri. I also join my colleagues who have supported this Motion, which is timely. This country should take a look and understand the situation that we have in our schools, specifically in primary and secondary schools. Comprehensive sex education is a very important thing and component of our lives, especially in our children’s lives. I speak as a woman, as a mother and specifically as a rural leader. We have a lot of problems when it comes to teenage pregnancies. Many times, it is because we have not taken up the responsibility right from home. It is the primary responsibility of parents to teach their children to understand and give advice to our girls and boys as they grow up, especially when they are in the adolescence stage, because these are the times when they feel they are becoming special, see a lot of differences in their body morphology, and they also want to try a lot of interactions with each other. It has also been made worse by the fact that nowadays we have schools that are designated fully for girls only and boys only. We are actually drifting away from the realities. When we encourage these single schools, sometimes it becomes very hard for these children to understand and adopt their differences. This is because, if I am a teenage girl, I would probably want to imagine that the next person who is also a girl like me would be feeling differently, or I want to explore what my other friend is feeling. That is why we have all this LGBTQ problems starting and emanating right from primary schools and mostly secondary schools. This is the time that we as a society should sit down and organise our future generation. I thank the Mover of the Motion because this is something that has been ailing the society for a very long time. That is why there are remedies like Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), imagining that when you cut a girl, you minimise the feelings that they are feeling amongst one another. But at the end of the day, we are doing more damage because everything is psychological. When we take this comprehensive education and make it compulsory in the schools, we will manage most of the problems that these girls and boys go through. For instance, when we grow up and go to universities, we get opportunities to interact and be free. We assume that we are older than when we were in primary and secondary schools. But when you do not get proper sex education, it becomes hard for you to adapt and understand. You might think that everything that happens, happens because it is normal, and you end up having a lot of sexual intercourse all over the place, and you will contract diseases. We are not talking about preventing pregnancies; it is actually the diseases that are more problematic than the pregnancies. Pregnancy is a natural phenomenon. As much as sex is also a natural phenomenon, the problem is that there are injections of infections that have affected and are ailing the society so much. Even in economic status, hospitals are congested because of antiretrovirals (ARVs), and treatment of gonorrhoea and syphilis which are very traumatising diseases. This can be curbed by helping the generation that is going through adolescence through proper sexual education in schools. We also have young mothers and girls who have children probably around 18 to 20 years old. When we were growing up, these were the times our aunties would sit us down and give us a lot of information about getting married and taking care of family. This is because sex is a component in this thing. It would be very helpful if we take this thing and cascade it to primary school levels. Even when we are distributing sanitary towels as Women The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Representatives, Members of Parliament and leaders, we get to understand and let them understand the problems that come with all these morphologies of our bodies. Even the boys should be taught this. A girl cannot impregnate herself. A man or a boy must be involved. The biggest problem is that when boys go through initiation, they get the audacity and feeling that they are men enough to have children or sleep around with girls. This has created a lot of problems because lately, teenage pregnancies are on the rise. The most painful thing is that a pregnant girl in school uniform is viewed as normal— it is not. We have to understand that the problem is not about the girls only. It involves everyone, especially the men. Men are okay with impregnating young girls because, for a long time, the law has been lenient on them. When a man impregnates more than five girls and no action is taken against them, the girls are forced to drop out of school and return to their poor homes. At the end of the day, we create a monster in our societies. This problem can be cured by making social education mandatory in primary and secondary schools. This will help us solve most of these problems.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
(Hon. (Dr) Rachael Nyamai): Thank you very much Member for Baringo County. Let us have the Hon. Beatrice Adagala, the Member for Vihiga County.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I see the Member for Mombasa County is calling me the Deputy Party Leader for Amani National Congress (ANC). You should know that ANC’s presence is felt when you see me standing. I want to add my voice to this Motion by Hon. Jane Maina, the Member for Kirinyaga County on the introduction of comprehensive health education as a core subject in schools. I thank my colleague for bringing this timely Motion. Our society today comprises 70 per cent of young people, that is, school-going girls and boys who need to be guided. Growing up, our grandparents and aunties would educate us on the changes in our bodies and any other changes we encountered as young girls and boys. Nowadays, this is not being done. In support of Hon. Jane, this subject should be taught in school. You can blame this on our traditional cultures that do not allow parents to teach their children about reproductive organs and sex. This is termed as taboo. This Motion has come at the right time so that children will be taught these things in schools. A Member has said that our children are on social media platforms like TikTok. These platforms may be avenues for communication but sometimes our children are accessing inappropriate material through them. For example, the other day in my county a two-year-old child was raped by the grandfather. This is terrible and traumatising yet we do not want to speak about sexual issues with our children. It is high time that this subject was taught in schools, churches, and everywhere so that we can save our children. Nowadays even some elderly women are raping young boys. These things should be taught so that our children should know what are the dangers involved. We have sexually transmitted diseases, HIV/AIDS, and many diseases. Young girls engaging in sex can ruin their uterus and reproductive systems. This subject is very important. Children must be taught this in schools and churches. As a society, leaders and parents, we have failed in our responsibilities. We have left everything to teachers. It is high time we took this with the urgency it requires so that…
Welcome Hon. Osoro, I have seen you walk in. Hon. Osoro is trying to confuse me. I have lost track of my thoughts. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
(Hon. (Dr) Rachael Nyamai): Hon. Osoro, please stop confusing the Member for Vihiga. You should consult in low tones because the Member for Vihiga is accusing you of confusing her.
Hon. Adagala, you may proceed.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for your protection. That was on a lighter note. Hon. Osoro is my brother.
This Motion is timely and we have to take it with the seriousness it deserves. Our children must be protected at whatever cost so that we avoid early pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases and every sort of ill-related to their health.
The issue of mental health is a threat in our communities. Our children are having it rough out there. This too should be taught in school. Growing up, we were taught of very many things but now the frequent revision of the curriculum overlooks some of these issues. The other day I saw a video going around of a young boy being taught some skills on a wooden dummy. Whether we like it or not, this has to be taught so that our children can grow up as God-fearing. We must change this generation. Otherwise, our children are being led astray. We want a morally upright society. If we expose our children to these ills, diseases like HIV/AIDS will be the order of the day and we will lose a generation.
Therefore, Hon. Temporary Speaker, I support this Motion. As one of the Members has said, I support it with all my body parts and everything. Thank you, Hon. Jane, for bringing this Motion to this House.
(Hon. (Dr) Rachael Nyamai): I am trying to trace your name, Member for Kajiado North, because you have been lifting up your hand, but I cannot see you on the screen. Your card is not visible. Please check with the Clerks-at-the-Table.
Hon. Zamzam, Member for Mombasa County.
Asante sana, Mhe. Spika wa Muda. Kwanza kabla sijaendelea, ningependa kuchukua sekunde mbili kuwakumbuka Wakenya ambao walipoteza maisha yao, vijana na watoto wadogo, na watu ambao hawakuwa na hatia. Ninachukua fursa hii kutoa rambirambi zangu kwa familia za wale waliopoteza maisha yao. Tunapowasha mishumaa leo, tunawapa pole zetu. Mwenyezi Mungu ahifadhi jamii zenu pamoja na wema.
Ninataka kumpongeza dada yangu mdogo, Mhe. Jane, kwa kuleta mjadala huu. Mjadala huu ni muhimu sana katika jamii na unazungumzia…
Katika eneo la ugatuzi la Mombasa, nikishauriana na watoto katika shule tofauti, kitu ambacho nilikuja kugundua ni kuwa watoto wengi wamejiingiza katika mambo machafu. Wanafanya ngono watoto wa kike kwa wa kike na wa kiume kwa wa kiume. Hii ni kwa sababu kuna watu ambao wameingia katika taifa hili na wanafanya kampeni kubwa sana za kuwaharibu watoto wetu. Tunaomba kuwa katika ile comprehensive education …
…hapa na hapa usifanye hili na lile. Unapofika umri fulani jaribu kuzingatia masomo yako na usiingilie mambo ya ngono kwa sababu yatakuletea ujauzito. Ukipata mimba ukiwa na umri mdogo, nyonga yako bado ni ndogo na ukienda kujifungua, unaweza kufa ama ukapoteza The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
mtoto. Pia, unaweza ukapata maradhi kama UKIMWI ama maradhi tofauti tofauti ya ngono na uwe umejiharibia maisha yako. Tuwaeleze watoto wetu kuwa kuna heshima ya kungoja wakati mwafaka, kumpata mwenzako na kuolewa ili usijiingize katika mambo haya. Kama mzazi, ningependa kuzungumza na wazazi kule nje. Tuwache kuwapatia watoto wetu simu za rununu. Utafikiri kuwa mtoto ameingia sehemu sawa katika simu lakini huwa inafika wakati ambapo hizo simu zinakuuliza kama unataka kuingia mahali fulani pabaya. Watoto hawa hawawezi kuwa na control ya simu hizo. Wanaweza kuingia mahali pabaya
kwa kutojua na wakajipata wameingia katika masuala machafu. Kuna wazazi wengine ambao nilikuwa nikizungumza nao na wakasema kuwa maisha yamekuwa sawa kwa sababu kuna teknolojia. Ingawa kuna teknolojia, lazima wazazi waweke mipaka kwa watoto wao ili wajue wanafika wapi. Mpe mtoto wako elimu na muda wa kusoma. Simu ikae kando. Kama anataka communication, afadhali umpigie mwalimu kisha uongee na mwana wako. Usimpatie mtoto simu ya rununu. Shetani amefichwa katika hizi simu. Nilipokuwa kule Mombasa, nilisitikika sana. Niliitwa na mwalimu mkuu wa shule moja na akaniambia kuwa shule yake imeharibika. Watoto wa kike wanajamiiana wenyewe kwa wenyewe. Ni jambo la kusikitisha. Kama sisi ni viongozi tunaotunga sheria katika Jumba hili, basi tuhakikishe tumeweka sheria ambayo haitavuka maadili ya dini na utamaduni wetu. Tuweke sheria ambazo zinaambatana na hali halisi ya mtoto wa Kiafrika na dini zetu.
Ninajua Mheshimiwa amegusia mambo mengi sana. Ninakumbuka tukiwa shuleni tulikuwa tunasomeshwa elimu ya ngono. Sijui kama kuna mahali ambapo walimu wamezembea kidogo na hawaelezei mambo haya kwa upana. Ninakumbuka nikiwa shuleni, mwalimu wetu alikuwa anatuita na kutufunza wazi wazi. Anachora ule mchoro wa viungo vya uzazi na kutueleza kuwa tukifanya hili na lile tunapofika hatua ya kuvunja ungo, mambo yatatuharibikia. Tulikuwa tunafunzwa kwa uwazi. Sijui ni kitu gani kilichopotea hapo katikati hadi sasa tunatunga sheria ya kuweka elimu ya ngono katika mtaala ilhali tayari iko katika elimu ya reproduction shuleni. Ndio maana nimekuwa na wasi wasi. Wakati Mhe. Jane alisema kuwa mambo mengine tofauti hayataongezwa, nilipata nafuu kidogo. Tunafanya mambo hapa kisha mtu mwingine aje kutoka kando na kusema kuwa ana haki ya kufanya ngono na mke mwenzake, ama mwanamume na mwanamume mwenzake, ama watoto waanze kufunzwa mambo tofauti shuleni. Hatutakubali hayo. Tutarudisha mjadala katika Jumba hili ili tupinge mambo kama hayo. Kwa leo, ninakupongeza sana mdogo wangu. Nina imani kuwa mambo haya yatafunzwa kwa upana kwa watoto wetu. Ninawahimiza ndugu zetu ambao ni wachungaji, maimamu na walimu wa madrasa wawafunze watoto wetu ili waweze kuelewa. Katika Uislamu, tunaambiwa kuwa la taqrabu zina. Usikurubie mambo ya ngono kabisa. Hawajatuambia tusifanye ngono. Wametuambia tusikurubie mambo ya ngono kabla ya kuolewa. Ndio maana mimi naringa leo. Niliolewa nikiwa bado fresh . Tufunze watoto wetu wasianze kuonjaonja “matunda”. Wakiolewa, “tunda” lao liwe liko safi ili wanapoingia katika ndoa, wanapewa heshima yao.
Asante sana, Mhe. Spika wa Muda. Ninaunga mkono mjadala huu.
(Hon. (Dr) Rachael Nyamai): Thank you, Member for Mombasa County. Hon. Members, we have Kalim Primary School - seated in the Public Gallery - from Embakasi in Nairobi County. On behalf of the House, I would like to welcome the students to continue observing proceedings in the National Assembly. The next Member to contribute is the Member for North Imenti, Hon. Rahim Dawood.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. Firstly, I support the Motion by Hon. Jane Njeri Maina, Member for Kirinyaga. Comprehensive health education is a good subject for schools. However, we need to be careful The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
with what we teach our children. We may be going overboard in some of the CBC subjects which we have seen previously. What CBC was teaching was against tenets of good education. I believe if this is a proper comprehensive subject, then it will be tackled. The Member has already assured me that nothing out of the ordinary will happen. We need to inculcate values like what the Member for Mombasa has said. The value systems have been eroded. If we do not maintain them, we are in for a rude shock. Puberty is coming up in our children much faster than it used to a long time ago. You find girls who are at the age of nine or 10 years getting babies, when they are babies themselves. You wonder where we are getting to. When we will be teaching this core subject, we will also need to educate our children on their legal rights. We should have many other subjects linked to it on their legal rights, what they need to do, and how to avoid it.
(Hon. (Dr) Rachael Nyamai): Order, Hon. Members. Hon. Benjamin Lang’at and your team, please, consult in low tones. We are unable to hear the Member for North Imenti. Please, consult in lower tones, so that we can hear him. You may proceed, Member for North Imenti.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. Hon. Benjamin used to be my Chairperson in the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning. When he left to serve as an ambassador, he forgot how he should behave in Parliament. As I was saying, we need to inculcate good values. The value system has been eroded. We cannot have young children who go on trips and weekends without supervision. Boys and girls go for sports trips or some other trips without adult supervision and they get away with dirty mischief. You will notice that this mostly happens in rural areas where there is not much information. We need to deal with this matter comprehensively so that we can get our children back. The innocence of our children should not be taken away by the things they do and then we regret later. There are many girls who drop out of school because of experimenting things in one way or the other. We also need to teach children that drugs are not good for them. We need to secure our schools from predators because, indeed, they are there. You will find somebody selling drugs outside every school. Drugs are a health issue. Once they get into the system, the children will not study or do anything. They will become zombies. We need to tackle that and enforce the 300-metre rule on the distance between places that sell alcohol and schools. If you go to Nairobi and other urban areas, you will find bars and clubs which are less than 50 metres away from schools. When children go out from school, they definitely see people drinking and they will probably want to try. We have issues where underage children are being sold alcohol. We need to educate the children that this is not the time for them to drink alcohol, if ever they have to do it. As a practising Muslim, I can say that you should not even drink alcohol but some people do. We need to stop selling alcohol near schools, as well as enlighten our people and children on the legal implications of doing so. Lastly, I would like to ask the Member a question because she is a lawyer. Let us arrest the people who impregnate adolescents, that is, children of ages nine years to 18 years. Let us take their parents to court. There is no point in letting them get away with it. Normally, they pay off the victims’ parents so that they are not taken to court. Let us take those parents to court in order to stop this menace. With those few remarks, I support the Motion.
(Hon. (Dr) Rachael Nyamai): Hon. Donya Dorice, Member for Kisii County. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I rise to support the Motion on introduction of comprehensive health education as a core subject in schools. There is nothing as good as having lifetime skills. They help you grow independently. You do not rely on anyone to help you because you have already been equipped. People can ask why we are talking about sex education. It is our second food. It is not bad. When we, as women, talk of teenagers’ pregnancies and FGM, it is not because we do not have sustainable agenda. We talk about good infrastructure and water. We do not want to see our women going to fetch water from rivers. We also ask about good health facilities, but when it comes to sex education, people think that women have no agenda other than talking about sex. I affirm that sex is our second food. If it were not for it, none of us would be alive, not even the animals. This is a very delicate matter which we need to educate our children on. They need to know. I am a journalist. I worked for 13 years at the Royal Media Services, and I know that information is power. When our children learn about this, they value themselves and appreciate love more than when they do not know. For example, how many church-going people think that their children do not know about sex, but they find out later that they are pregnant? Others say that when you teach children about sex, you are exposing them. We would rather have professionals offering the teachings than our children learning about it through Tiktok. They already know a lot about sex. If you go to the Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital, you will realise that there is 60 to 65 per cent of teenage pregnancies. Our young girls are having sex more than our mothers. They are practising it more than us. They do not have basic information of the merits and demerits of engaging in early sex. When I was talking about FGM, a man asked me what was wrong with just cutting a small part. He said that because it was not his part which had been cut or chopped off. No one should talk on our behalf. We are saying that FGM and teenage pregnancy are bad. It is high time we put in place punitive measures against the perpetrators. They go to one village and impregnate a girl. It is normal for them. They go to another village and impregnate another one. It is as if they are offering morning salutations. Nothing is done to them. When I went to the USA, I realised that children are taught about their rights in school. They are even told to report when they see their parents behaving in a particular manner. When women arrive in the USA, they are given a booklet containing their rights as women. What is wrong with our children being taught comprehensive health, wellness, and sex education in the curriculum as a core subject in schools? That cannot be wrong. It is not that we do not have anything to discuss. After all, we discussed about having good roads and equipped hospitals but we are yet to see them. This is simple. Teachers always undergo professional development studies and they can learn these things and teach our children. I support Hon. Jane’s Motion. Sex education is not bad. We read the Bible and the Muslims read the Quran. If there is a book with something related to sex education, you should carry it with you as you would carry love or anything else. You know, love is portable; you can carry it around. These books carry with them love. We were trained by a professor that when our men go for safaris, we pack for them tools – not because we believe they are going to do it – so that they are safe. However, when a lady carries the same tools, people will say that she is promiscuous. They will wonder why is she carrying them. When a man carries the tools – they are called “condoms” – it is well with people. If a lady carries condoms in a handbag and they accidentally fall down when she is removing her handkerchief, people will look at her and wonder why she is carrying them. So, I repeat, I support comprehensive health, wellness, and sex education in the curriculum as a core subject in schools. Thank you.
(Hon. (Dr) Rachael Nyamai): Thank you Member for Kisii County. Hon. Momanyi, Member for Nyamira County. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker for giving me this chance to support this Motion on comprehensive health, wellness and sex education in the curriculum as a core subject in schools. This education should be seriously supported by all Members who are inside this House. Sex, as it is stipulated in the Quran and the Bible, is good. Sex is good. So, something which is good should be given to people. We should not look at our children and think that if they learn about sex, they will start to behave badly just because they have gained knowledge about it. Young children need to understand their sexuality. Whether they are boys or girls, they should understand themselves first. These days, most of the young parents are busy. They report very early to their offices and at times return home very late. They take their children to schools very early. They do not have time to teach their children about matters sexuality. For example, when they see their breasts growing, they ought to know it means they are becoming nice girls who will soon be women.
(Hon. (Dr) Rachael Nyamai): Member for Nyamira, there is an intervention by the Member for Bungoma County, Hon. Catherine Wambilianga. What is out of order, Hon. Catherine Wambilianga? Take your seat Member for Nyamira.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. Is it in order for the Member to mislead the House and the public that sex is good and that underage children should be taught about it? That should only be applied at a certain level when people are grown-ups and not in schools. That is my point of order.
(Hon. (Dr) Rachael Nyamai): Hon. Member for Nyamira, this is a House of debate. You can clarify your point.
The Hon. Member should understand what the word sex means. It does not mean the act that grown-ups practice. Sex means many things. For example, if you are a man, your sex is understood and if you are a woman your sex is understood. So, when we talk about sex and want it to be inculcated in the curriculum as a core subject in schools, children will not only be taught how to practice that act. That is not what we want our children to start practicing when they are still young. When we were growing up, we used to stay in our grandmothers’ houses. They taught us several things with regard to sex, for example, how you grow up as a woman and things you are supposed to do as a woman.
(Hon. (Dr) Rachael Nyamai): Allow me to put that to rest so that you can continue with your debate. Hon. Wambilianga, she has clarified what she meant. Proceed with your debate, Hon. Momanyi.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I support this Motion. I want to tell Mhe. Jane, the woman representative of Kirinyaga County that when curriculums are being developed for schools, the law is looked at so that a curriculum that contravenes the norms of the society and what is legally acceptable is not developed. As I support this Motion, I want to urge her to look at anything in the Motion that may be against any religion and strike it off. Sex education in our schools should be supported so that our children are taught about sexuality. Parents are busy and they do not get time for their children. They return to their homes when their children have slept. Their children go to school very early and they interact with teachers. So, if this is made part of the curriculum, our children will get the right sex education that will help them to grow while understanding their sexuality. It will help them to know how they should behave as children and how to interact in terms of sex. I want to urge our communities to have their values and norms that are no longer being upheld, to be made part of the curriculum. Sex education should be taught in schools so that as our children grow, they also understand that they should respect themselves and not indulge The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
even if they see things on TikTok, Facebook and other social media platforms. Children will not indulge until at an appropriate time as they were taught by their teachers. The people of Nyamira have heard that sex education should be taught in our schools so that children know more about it. When, for example, somebody attempts to rape a nine- year-old girl, the girl should interpret that the thing that the man is showing her is what she was taught in school and keep off from such a man and act appropriately. I support.
(Hon. (Dr) Rachael Nyamai): Thank you, Member for Nyamira County. Hon Members, just to guide the House with regard to what this Motion seeks to resolve. There are several parts of it, the introduction of comprehensive health, wellness, and sex education in the curriculum as a core subject. Therefore, you may broaden your argument beyond the matter that was being raised by Hon. Wambilianga. I would like the next opportunity to go to the Member for Narok North, Hon. Agnes Pareiyo.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for this opportunity. I was complaining because I came earlier and inserted my card and it was blinking. But it is okay. I thank Hon. Jane, Member for Kirinyaga, for bringing this very important Motion. If we lose our children, we will not have a generation after us. I support the introduction of comprehensive health education in our schools. Most of us, from our generation, want to live in denial. It is high time we agreed that a lot is happening on the social media. If we will not take it upon ourselves as parents, both women and men, to ensure that we teach our children and introduce them to what is on the social media, then we may end up losing our children. A parent is the first teacher the children trust. When you discuss something with your children, they will live to remember. It is time to bring all our churches, including those against such teachings, on board. If we do not talk to our children, it means that by the end of it all, we will lose our morals and culture. Our children will rise against what we want them to be. I am not opposed to the introduction of comprehensive sex education in our schools, but I urge parents to take up their roles, namely, men to boys and women to their daughters. I am afraid there are some young parents who did not learn certain lessons from their parents and I do not know whether we will have to introduce those talks on our radio stations by the elderly women who can talk openly about these issues that we think our children need to know. I think it is important to bring the churches and the whole community on board because these are issues that we need to discuss with our children. Growing up, we would sit down with our grandparents who would take us through all these topics without shying away. I just saw the Member for Kisii having a hard time mentioning some things. When we educate our children without proper terminologies, they will not know what it is we are saying. A condom is something that you can mention. I mention a condom, a vagina, and sex because for a long time, I have been an educator on the effects of FGM. You cannot discuss FGM with the community without mentioning where they cut and the reason behind why the practice should be stopped. It is wrong to cut a woman because you cut the tip of the clitoris, which is a concentration of nerves. The vagina will no longer play its role. This is not something that women or men should be ashamed of because these are parts that God created us with. We need to protect them by making sure that our girls are not cut. We are not opposed to the male cut, but we are opposed to the female cut because it is a part that has a role.
You are trying to interrupt me, but I want to say that God created a woman with the clitoris. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
(Hon. (Dr). Rachael Nyamai): Order, Member for Mwingi West. Can you allow the Member for Narok North to focus on her debate? You have a few minutes. So, please, conclude.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for protecting me. We need to be open to discuss these issues with our children as they are and not calling them things. Tell your child…
On a point of order.
(Hon. (Dr) Rachael Nyamai): There is a point of order by Hon. Moses Kirima. What is out of order?
What is out of order is the clarity of the language. We do not understand what the Member means when she talks of cutting. In Meru customs, if you joke with a man and they tell you they will cut you, they mean they will cut you with a panga . What does she mean by the word ‘cut’? In my community, the term ‘cut’ is literal.
(Hon. (Dr) Rachael Nyamai): Hon. Bishop Kirima, you cannot add on to a point of order. Therefore, I will not accept another one. The Member for Kajiado North has been clear and explicit. Please, proceed and conclude your debate. You have two minutes to conclude.
Well, I can explain to him what I mean. In other countries it is called mutilation, which you are opposed to. At home, we call it circumcision, which is not right because it involves cutting the whole part, hence the term mutilation. I am not opposed to the Motion on comprehensive education for our children in schools. I only urge parents not to leave this role to teachers. Take up your roles and make sure that men sit and talk to boys while women do the same for their girls. Let us not live in denial. There is a lot that is happening on social media. If you turn on your television set, you will see what your children are watching in your absence. Do not leave this role to teachers who cannot answer their questions. Be their teacher. Thank you, Hon Temporary Speaker. I support.
(Hon. (Dr) Rachael Nyamai): Thank you, Member for Narok North. Hon Members, this Motion did not have a lot of interest initially, but it has interestingly developed a lot of interest. I am inclined to give the next chance to a gentleman to my right. Member for Buuri, Hon Rindikiri Mugambi.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. This is a very important Motion which I support. I will not dwell so much on the biological makeup of a man or a woman, but I will dwell on the responsibility of a man and a woman as he or she grows.
The growth of a child is a factor of very many variables, one being parental responsibility. My mother, father, uncles and aunts spent a lot of time with us teaching us about how to become responsible citizens and parents as we grew up. Therefore, I learnt my parental responsibility when I was very young because my mother taught me that I would get married and have children when I grow up. My father used to tell me the same. It was upon me to know how to take care of myself and not misuse myself like anybody anywhere.
The other factor is the teachers, community, church, and leadership. All these have a responsibility in the growth of a child. What has happened over the years is that teachers have been left with the responsibility of being counsellor, father, and the mother. It is a very unfortunate situation. What the Member of Parliament for Kirinyaga County is trying to do is make it more formal that the school curriculum takes over the responsibility of educating the child. That is the reason you will find many Members here getting a bit confused because they do not know exactly what this means. What she is trying to do is to bring back what was lost The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
and omitted from the curriculum. There is nothing wrong with teaching children about growing up as responsible citizens and how to take care of their bodies. Hon. Temporary Speaker, you will notice there are high levels of teen pregnancies. Why does a nine-year child get pregnant? First, it shows there is absence of parents, the community, community leadership, and even the church. The child is supposed to be guided right from the start. The first step is the parent. Go out there and you will find that children who are getting pregnant are from very poor families, or marginalised communities, or from parents who are into alcohol and drugs. I have an example of someone from Kitui County. She said that she met a family of a child who got pregnant. Asked, the girl said her mother told her to go and stop buses and truck drivers. We have a serious problem because we have abandoned our children. It is high time we came back to our children. One way of coming back to this responsibility is to have it entrenched in the education curriculum because some of these children’s parents have no time. Their aunties and brothers have no time. Even the church has no time to monitor the way a child behaves. I am not talking about girls only but also boys. This is very important. Children have to be exposed. I remember a long time ago when my sisters were taught how to knit. In the process, they were told, “You are knitting this one for your husband.” It could also be for your mother and so on. They were taught responsibilities. Many children have to be taught about responsibilities. They need to know their biological make-up. I am a very proud Member of Parliament because whenever I go to girls’ schools I tell them the areas of their bodies they need to protect the most, that is, right from the start. If you see me outside, I will for sure show you what I tell my girls to protect. It is very important. There is nothing wrong with that. There is nothing wrong with having it in the curriculum that a girl needs to protect herself this way or that way. A boy needs to be taught the benefit of growing up as a whole person. It is upon all of us to do it. Therefore, it is very important because what is going to happen in the long-term in this country is that we are going to have many youth mothers who will leave the burden to their children, parents, and grandparents. There will be a very high level of dependency if we continue in the manner we are doing. Boys are impregnating girls. Why? Girls think they are having fun because they are exposed to many sexual options. We need to tell them these options will be there and nobody is going to prevent them. However, our children need to be taught what to avoid: when to say yes and when to say no. The level of diseases has been spoken about. There is diminishing child population in many schools. Once a child has got pregnant or a boy impregnates a girl, they tend to run away from the community. They tend to run away from mainstream education. They tend to run away from church. These are the symptoms of a diminishing population. I support that we bring back the basics of early sexual education, the basics of early sexual responsibilities, and the basics of early monitoring of our children. That is so that they know they will be parents one day. That they cannot be responsible parents when they exploit and misuse their biological advantages. Therefore, I support this Motion. Member for Kirinyaga County, it is very important. We need to think beyond so that we do not mistake it for teaching children how to practise sex. No. This is not teaching how to practise sex. It is teaching children that people do sex when it is required and appropriately. That it is not done with every Tom, Dick and Harry in town.
(Hon. (Dr) Rachael Nyamai): Thank you, Member for Buuri. Hon. Timothy Toroitich, Member for Marakwet West.
Thank you for giving me this opportunity to prosecute this Motion. Before that, I apologise to the Members. I was to present a Motion on the Establishment of a National Cancer Prevention and Control Fund in the morning and I had informed some of the Members here. I apologise because I arrived a bit late. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
I thank the Member from Kirinyaga County, my friend, Hon. Njeri Maina, for this substantive Motion on the introduction of comprehensive health education as a core subject in schools. We have an extremely progressive Constitution in this country. The Constitution recognises health as a basic right under the Bill of Rights. Article 43 of the Constitution clearly provides the right to health. For the avoidance of doubt, it says that every person has a right to the highest attainable standards of health, including reproductive health. When the law talks about every person, it includes pupils and students within our learning institutions. Therefore, I fully support and endorse the fact that reproductive health should be brought in our institutions. We need to inculcate this in as young as our children are. I have read widely. There is a Reproductive Health Policy in the country that was passed in 2012. As you are aware, a policy is not self-executing. We need a comprehensive legal and institutional framework so that this policy can be anchored in law. So that when we say that we want to introduce something in the curriculum, it must be founded on some instrument of law. This is very important. Again, those who were born in this country in the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s, realise that the issue goes back to the moral fabric of our society. In as much as we want to put this in our education curriculum in Kenya, it goes back to the basic morality of our society. How is our moral conscience as a country? We need not put it in the curriculum as such. Even the way parents teach and bring up their children, it is very important to tell them that we respect parents and that we respect the family as a basic unit of a society. In my opinion, parents have abdicated their responsibilities. The society as a whole has abdicated its responsivity. When I grew up, a child did not belong to anyone specifically, but rather to everybody or the community. If a child committed an offence, he was subject to punishment by the community. Hon. Temporary Speaker, if this curriculum is introduced in our education system, it will enable the teachers or those who are training them to teach them about basic laws in our community. I come from a community where harmful cultural practices like FGM still exist. We need to teach our children that there is a law that exists in this country, that is, the Female Genital Mutilation Act which is punitive to anybody purporting to aid or abet any action related to FGM. It is very important that we teach such things in schools too. It should be included in the curriculum of our learning institutions. That way, pupils and students will know that FGM is an offence. That the one abetting or doing the same commits an offence and is liable to punishment. The other law that should also be included and taught in schools is the Children Act. It has various progressive provisions on the rights of children. It informs on children’s reproductive rights and health. There is also the Sexual Offences Act. It is a Legislation that should be taught in our learning institutions. We must teach our children of its existence because it provides punitive measures in case anybody breaches it. This will bring in the issue of responsible parenthood so that children, at a very young age, will know how to raise their families when they attain the age of maturity and decide to marry. I fully support this Motion. I want to thank the Mover of this Motion, Hon. Njeri, for bringing it to the House. Above all, I also call upon the Member, because she is a Lawyer, that she considers introducing legislation on reproductive health in this country so that it covers or caters for the interests of the minors and also those that are of maturity age. It will be a very important legislation for this country because it will seek to answer some questions that the policy cannot. This is because a policy is only a statement of intention and may not have the legal effect as a legislation would. I beg to rest my case on that front. Thank you.
(Hon. (Dr) Rachael Nyamai): Thank you. Hon. Charles Ngusya, Member for Mwingi West. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker for giving me this opportunity to contribute. I will be economical with time because I do not want to belabour much on what my ctolleagues have said. At the outset, let me thank the Mover of the Motion, my good friend from Kirinyaga, Hon. Njeri. This is comprehensive health education. It does not limit us to sex only, but also addresses nutritional issues when one is encountered with health problems. In developed worlds, most of them have included this in their curriculum. It is high time we instituted the same and started educating our children on health reproduction. There are some advantages that we are going to have when we introduce this in our curriculum. Our children are going to understand their biological make-up and majority of them will have no issues when they encounter some diseases that we experience on a daily basis, especially those related to personal hygiene. If we introduce this in our education system, we are also going to prevent venereal diseases. It will also prevent teenage pregnancies which have been experienced in the recent times. Our children will understand the best time to engage in certain things. For me, being a Christian and a staunch Catholic believer, I believe that the only solution to everything is starting the right thing at the right time. I believe that one should start having sex when they are married, and that is my principle. I thank God because I have been able to adhere to the same. Abstinence is one of the key issues. We need to teach our students to adhere to it and we will never experience any issue. We have been experiencing what we call diminishing child population in our schools. Due to early pregnancies. Some of them experience it because they lack information. By introducing this into our education system, it will manage population in our schools and every responsible child will have proper parental guidance. I recall the times when we used to interact with our grandparents. They used to teach us many things. Nowadays, I do not see a lot of that happening in terms of mentoring of children. It is high time we emulated our parents before we start educating our kids on how to handle marriage, for example, how a girl is supposed to please a man and vice versa. I am not talking about a girl who is under the age of 18 years, but one who is above that age. I believe that this Motion would bring more advantages than disadvantages. We are going to experience a society that is morally upright. When it comes to issues of nutrition, there are times when our children, especially the girls, go through their menstrual cycle. The ones who experience it the first time do not even understand what is happening to their bodies. By bringing this to their attention in school, a girl will not be ashamed to discuss the issue with her parents, friends, or anybody like a health worker. There are boys who have even come to my office suffering from venereal diseases but feel ashamed to discuss it. That will not happen anymore because we need to seek health attention. By educating our children on how to handle all these matters, we will be allowing for a healthy population which will ensure an increased population. With those few remarks, I support.
(Hon. (Dr) Rachael Nyamai): Thank you, Member for Mwingi West. Hon. Catherine Wambilianga, Member for Bungoma County.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker for this chance to contribute to this very important Motion on the introduction of comprehensive health education as a core subject in schools. I wish to congratulate Hon. Njeri for bringing it up. I come from the teaching background and it is something that we have longed to have included in our curriculum for a long time now. I am a long serving teacher of almost 20 years. Being a Woman Representative, I encounter a lot of such cases because of lack of comprehensive health education.
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(Hon. (Dr) Rachael Nyamai): Who is this Hon. Member who is crossing from one side to the other? Order, Hon. Emaase, you have crossed the Floor from this side to the other. I suggest that you go bow and decide on which side of the aisle you want to walk on.
You may proceed, Hon. Wambilianga.
Thank you Hon. Temporary Speaker. Introduction of comprehensive health education in the curriculum is long overdue in Kenya. It will have a number of benefits to our children. I deal with a lot of gender-based violence (GBV) cases in Bungoma County as a result of lack of this kind of education for our children. If we have this education, we will prevent a lot of child pregnancies and STIs. It will also help us inculcate our cultural practices in the minds of the young ones. They are in our communities, but nobody talks about them to our children. In line with what the Member suggested, this would start at a level at pre-primary because children grow at different levels. We have the PP1, junior secondary, the high secondary and other levels. Before our children get to junior secondary school, they should be taught accordingly so that they get to know exactly what is expected of them. This will also go a long way in training our teachers on how to teach these children. We have done guiding and counselling in schools, but it does not seem to touch on key issues. Sometimes we brush on matters of sex without necessarily mentioning the organs themselves. I like the Member who spoke about it very candidly. When talking to children about sex, it is important to tell them about the vagina. It is also important to tell them and show them what the penis looks like. Most children do not even know what you may be talking about. They think it is just love they are going to make. For example, in my county, I came across a very serious case last week of a Class Seven child who impregnated a Class Six child. Of course, they go to school a little late. When this child gave birth, she did not know what to do with the baby. She went to the river and just placed the baby at the river bank and someone picked the baby and brought it to our office. Those are some of the predicaments we want to avoid by having this kind of education being taught in our schools. The media, churches, elders and parents will go a long way in assisting. In the present world, we have very young parents, as one Hon. Member said. They do not have time to talk to their children because they come home when the children have already slept and when they wake up, nobody speaks to them. So, introducing this in the curriculum in schools will help children. There are also methods of how children can defend themselves in cases of rape. They should be taught some tactics which will help them prevent such things. As parents, especially women, we have a greater responsibility of talking to our children about this even before they get to school. Because of poverty, some parents encourage their children to go and look for
through sexual acts. That is very wrong. A Member here talked about areas where trucks are parked. Some parents tell their children to go there and look for ways to get unga for their families. That is actually wrong. I support this Motion and pray that it goes through so that comprehensive health education is introduced in our schools to curb some of these problems at a very early age. Thank you very much.
(Hon. (Dr) Rachael Nyamai): Thank you very much Hon. Wambilianga. Hon. Rose Museo, Member for Makueni County. I suggest that she be assisted. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Serjeant-at-Arms, please, assist Hon. Rose Museo.
Thank you Hon. Temporary Speaker for giving me this opportunity. I wish to thank the Woman Representative for Kirinyaga County for bringing up this very important Motion. I support it. I support that children should be taught sex education from the onset while in school. If this were done 10 years ago, the issues we are dealing with now would not be a problem. The problem of early pregnancies affects all our counties. If sex education was taught properly and openly, these issues would not be rampant today. God purposed sex for creation and in the process he put some enjoyment in it, but then it has been misused. Our children need to understand that sex is for procreation and if it is enjoyed, it is enjoyed in making babies. When God created the first man using clay, the second creation was to be done in a woman’s womb. So, when they engage in sex before time, young girls get pregnant because of lack of knowledge. Sex is sacred and it is not a shameful thing because God created it. It becomes shameful only when it is done by the wrong people and at the wrong time. Again, we need to teach our children. Most parents lack parental guidance. They do not guide their children. In fact, some parents are very careless and do not even talk to their children and sometimes engage in the sexual act while drunk when children are watching. Children are inquisitive and inquire for themselves by looking at the internet and trying to do what they see.
(Hon. (Dr) Rachel Nyamai): Hon. Member for Igembe North, are you pressing for an intervention or you would like to notify that you would like to speak? Member for Makueni, please, proceed.
Thank you. Let us all take the responsibility of teaching our children. I support that they should be taught in school. You find some teachers falling victim. They fall in love with school girls, which is not proper. Our children should be taught sex education and why it is bad to have it before time and why it is bad to have it carelessly. There are people in the internet running sex businesses and selling sex. I think access to such businesses by the public should be stopped because our children now think sex is a form of employment instead of recreation. We also need to control what our children are watching just like a Member said that children do not need phones. Let them have phones but control what they see. Teach them and once they know its purpose… In any case we taught them to stop using a potty and start using a toilet. We also teach them how to wash their clothes so we can teach them to wait until the right time for sex. This will help many girls because they are the ones who are always blamed since they carry the burden of being pregnant while in school. They drop out for nine months and another one year and a half as they look after the baby. So, let us introduce this education. I support and thank Hon. Jane Maina for bringing this very important Motion at the right time.
(Hon. (Dr) Rachael Nyamai): Thank you very much, Member for Makueni. Hon. Moses Kirima, Member for Central Imenti.
Central Imenti, UDA): Thank you Hon. Temporary Speaker. I support this Motion brought by the Member for Kirinyaga County pertaining to health education in schools. We must be cautious one way or another because health education may be pumped into young students who do not need much information on this matter. It is my humble prayer and request before this begins, we have public participation in each and every The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
community in Kenya. We should not teach this to innocent children and end up making them perverts, especially those who like the word ‘sex. We are aware the world is changing in different ways, especially in Africa. The western culture is being brought by activists who are paid by their countries to introduce unsuitable behaviour in our communities. I understand in Britain health and sexual education was introduced but it teaches that there is no difference between female and male students. If this kind of education is brought here, it will mess us up. We should undertake public participation with experts who will advise us on the best education curriculum for our students. We cannot stand in Parliament and say that sex is very good and that it is food. No, it is not! There must be a way of teaching a grade one student this subject because they are too young to be pumped with the idea of sex at a very young age. So, we must be cautious and have a way of teaching reproduction. It should be called ‘natural sex teaching’ because there are those with different ideas about sex. We may not make progress if we forget we have different cultures in Kenya. As you travel along the road, you find people bathing in rivers without clothes exposing their nakedness and this is not a taboo. However, in my community, you will never find somebody naked because it is a taboo. Sexual education should include sexuality and the human being anatomy. We must be cautious and should not add subjects in the curriculum without selecting what is good. As I conclude, we must have experts to advice on what should be taught in every grade and form in both our primary and secondary schools because these children are deprived knowledge on sex education. I support this Motion with caution because in some parts of the country sex education maybe taken negatively by the communities. We should tailor it to be of benefit to our children and not just teach them about reproduction alone. In some communities, sex education is taught during initiation or when a girl reaches a certain age. I am very saddened when I hear about very young children having sex or teachers having sex with young students. That is why we hear people complaining about a nine-year-old being pregnant. I support this Motion but with amendments because we need to ensure what is taught in our schools is favourable. As we talk about health education, there is a likelihood of doing what was done before when we adopted the British culture because we were colonised by them. If we make the mistake of adopting a syllabus taught in Britain, we will mess our Kenyan society by bringing unnatural things. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. If there is a minute remaining, I can donate it to my colleague, Hon. Taitumu, Member for Igembe North Constituency.
(Hon. (Dr) Rachael Nyamai): Hon. Taitumu, Member of Parliament for Igembe North.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker for this opportunity. I rise to support this Motion on comprehensive health education. It is very important owing to the fact that this is not about sex education per se. It is beyond this and focuses on behaviours that contribute to health, safety and wellbeing of learners. As we are aware, learners spend most of their time in school rather than with their parents at home. In this regard, it is important they be well equipped with education that looks at their wholistic health; emotional, psychological, social and nutritional. This will go a long way in helping learners to realise their full potential in schools. Well-equipped students will be more focused and realistic about what they want and what education entails.
(Hon. (Dr). Rachael Nyamai): Order, Member for Igembe North! Hon Members, this Motion has a balance of 15 minutes. the Member for Igembe North has a balance of seven minutes when this Motion is scheduled again by the House Business Committee (HBC).
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(Hon. (Dr) Rachael Nyamai): Hon Members, the time being 1.00 p.m., this House stands adjourned until this afternoon at 2.30 p.m.
The House rose at 1.00 p.m.
Clerk of the National Assembly Parliament Buildings Nairobi The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.