Kenya Film Classification boss Ezekiel Mutua says all school-going children should join the Scouts and Girl guide movements.
Founded in 1908 by Lord Baden Powell, the movements stress on discipline and values-based development “of young people in achieving their full physical, intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual potentials.”
In Kenya, the movement was founded in 1910. It is voluntary in schools, something Dr Mutua now says should change.
“Given the wave of moral decay, indiscipline, unrest and destruction of property in schools, I think we should make it compulsory for every child in school to become a scout or girl guide. We need a structured process of inculcating moral responsibility among the youths.”
In the recent past, there has been runaway unrest in schools throughout the country. Dorms have been burnt. Students have turned up in school with lethal weapons. Teachers have been physically harmed.
Only this week, a school in Machakos was closed indefinitely after students rioted for being asked to shave their heads. Others said they weren’t having enough eggs and called it a day.
The indiscipline has rekindled calls for re-introduction of corporal punishment.
“Discipline is not gained by punishing a child for a bad habit, but by substituting a better occupation, that will absorb his attention, and gradually lead him to forget and abandon the old one,” Lord Powell so famously said.
The Scoutmaster’s Handbook says, “If a boy is given sufficient positive reinforcement for appropriate behavior, positive behavior will usually continue.”