Jan 27, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Why suicides are rising among teachers in Kenya

The body of Mrs. Sarah Boke Marwa, 33, was found hanging from a tree on her farm in Ntunyigi Village, West Kuria.

Beside Boke’s body lay that of her daughter Dorcas Gati Mohagachi, who was just three months away from her second birthday.

A police report on the January 7 incident showed this woman Boke used a sisal rope to kill herself and her daughter.

On that fateful day, Mrs. Boke was having lunch with her husband Daniel Chacha Mohagachi, 37.

Mr. Chacha later went to Bukuria Elementary School to pick up their other children and when he got home he found his wife and child missing.

“He looked for them and eventually found them hanging from a tree on his farm,” Kehancha City Police said.

Domestic Quarrels

The couple, both teachers, had a long history as housewives and had recently reunited after living apart for some time.

In In another case, Mr. George Muhati, a teacher from the Lubinu site in Mumia’s east, is said to have killed himself Tuesday this week.

The 54-year-old is said to have committed suicide in killed a poultry house with a hemp rope.

A semi-consumed chemical was found at the scene.

The two incidents are just the tip of the iceberg, with as many as 10 cases reported from across the country in the last month.

The Kenya National Teachers Pressure Group says that two of the incidents involved school principals.

Two weeks ago, a primary school principal in Kitui killed himself due to family problems.

House fire

Last month, an elementary school teacher in Othaya, Nyeri County died in a house fire he allegedly set on fire.< /p>

The 45-year-old, who recovered from an alcoholic, was said to be alone at home.

Kennedy Ochieng ‘, a 41-year-old teacher at Nyong’ong’a Secondary School in Nyakach, Kisumu County, committed suicide at his home in Homa Bay.

The teacher hanged himself in Kalal village, Rachuonyo North sub-district, reportedly in November last year.

Mr Akelo Misori, the general secretary of the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet), said, Depression due to work, family problems and tough economic times are the leading causes of suicide among teachers, as is the case for other Kenyans.

He suggested e A serious study to determine the actual statistics, causes and remedies.

“But the cases are there . They are many and it is worrying. Some teachers are overcommitted to doing certain things because they want to compete in this unequal society. Teachers want to have a good life, and when those needs aren’t met, they fall into depression,” he said.

Tough Economic Times

Teachers, he said, need to be cushioned during these tough economic times caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Where “Teachers sit back? Sit back? They don’t have any counseling services in their workplace. The psychosocial support needed for such a large workforce is not adequate, as mandated by the Teacher’s Service Commission structure,” said Mr. Misori.

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha, in his New Year’s message said Kenya must continue to thank teachers for braving the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic to ensure quality teaching and enable learning in schools.

“I urge teachers to continue to be vigilant and do their best to ensure smooth learning in this special year of 2022, as they have always done,” said Prof. Magoha.

Ms Martha Omollo, spokesman for the Kenya National Teachers Pressure Group, said frustration at work in the form of management intimidation, threats, abuse, relocation and family strife are among the leading causes of suicide among belong to teachers.

Depression is real

Sh We said minor issues could be triggers.

Ms Eva Muchemi, the representative of Kenya’s National Teachers Pressure Group, said depression is real among teachers.

“Alcoholism is widespread among teachers and we have many in rehabilitation centers. There are many mental health cases and we have several cases in psychiatric hospitals,” she said.

She added that some teachers ended up in prison as petty criminals.< /p >

“We have a case where a teacher sold a stolen phone in the name of survival and was looking for an extra coin,” she said.

Kenya was ranked 114th out of 175 countries with the highest suicide rates in the world in the World Population Review.

The study was pre The Covid-19 pandemic exacerbated the suicide problem in Kenya, which had a suicide rate of at least 6.5 per 1,000,000 people.

The Ministry of Health promised to adopt a national suicide prevention strategy develop and program in accordance with the guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO).The program includes a cost loose suicide prevention hotline and psychological support.

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