Worrying trend of minors committing suicide in Bomet

Friday March 29 2019

suicide in universities

At least seven Bomet County primary and secondary school students have committed suicide in recent weeks in a worrying trend that has education stakeholders concerned. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

VITALIS KIMUTAI
By VITALIS KIMUTAI
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The rising number of students committing suicide in Bomet County recently has raised concerns among stakeholders in the education sector.

At least seven cases have been reported in recent weeks at Kamungei, Aisaik, Kipyosit, Merigi and Longisa Boys secondary schools.

Two other cases have been reported at Chebois and Bomet primary schools.

In one of the cases, a student is said to committed suicide after being sent home for lack of school fees.

Some of the student did not leave suicide notes to tell their kin why they had taken their lives.

But teenage pregnancies, domestic disputes, terminal illness and drugs and substance abuse are some of the issues which in the past have contributed to suicides among students.

'TRAINED COUNSELLORS'

Now the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) has urged the national and county governments to take action to reverse the negative trend.

“Trained counsellors should be employed by Teachers Service Commission and deployed to all schools,” said Bomet County’s Knut executive secretary Malel Langat.

Mr Langat said schools have be relying on pastors for guidance and counselling but they lack training and competence on psychological issues. 

The Knut official also blamed parents for abdicating their responsibilities by leaving all disciplinary and counselling of their children to teachers.

“There are rising cases of young children being placed under day-care centres or left with house helps as their parents engage in other businesses. Such children get very little parental guidance and cannot cope with challenges in life,” said Mr Langat.

'URGENT NEED'

Bomet East MP Beatrice Kones said there was an urgent need for the government to set up counselling centres in all wards in the country targeting troubled youth.

“The rising cases of suicide among youth across the country is baffling. There is a need for parents and everyone in the society to help youth understand that there is no reason to kill oneself when they are faced with challenges as all problems are surmountable,” said Ms Kones.

Last month, Ms Kones lost her son, who was a father of three to suicide.

“Most youths in the current generation give up very easily with challenges in life and they imagine that the solution is suicide. Little do they know that had they shared the problems with others, a solution would have been found and they would live and be useful members in the society,” said Mrs Kones.