Schools are innocent in same-sex relations

Same sex feelings mostly start developing in high school. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Same sex feelings mostly start developing in high school. FILE PHOTO | NMG  

Since I finished Form Four, I have been at home for several months. The trouble is I have discovered that I am attracted to members of the same sex. I think this attraction started when I was in high school but I told myself it was not real. My parents don’t know it. Should I reveal it to them?

The Cabinet Secretary for Education Fred Matiangi is considered by many to be a true reformer in the sector. Right from primary education to high school and university, his hand is to be found in all levels of education.

His interactions with teachers and professors is most encouraging and many hope that discipline will return and remain in this most important sector of our society. A look at the history of the education might be helpful.

In October 1994, retired president Moi set up what was then known as the Devil Worship Commission. Archbishop Kirima of Nyeri and lawyer Fred Ojiambo are some of the well known Kenyans who served in the team. Upon its completion in 1995, the government decided not to make public its report because it contained very sensitive information. There the matter rested for four years.

It was finally released in Parliament in 1999. It had found that indeed there was devil worship in Kenyan schools. A specific police force was recommended as the way out of this problem. No action was taken against the devil worshiping community at the time. No reasons were given and the matter of the devil and his worshipers was left to gather dust.

Earlier (1985), the government introduced the 8-4-4 system of education, which is itself the subject of review in 2017. The Davy Koech Commission had handed in their report on Education in 1999. Reforms in education are not unusual.

In the last few months, and relevant to your question and commissions of enquiry, the subject of homosexuality in Kenyan schools has hit the headlines yet again, and there have been calls to the CS “to do something” to establish the facts.

A case is that of the allegations made about two boys from Maseno school. The pressure mounts.

In a study published in the International Journal of Current research, the authors (H. Kodero et al) describe a study in which 258 Form III boys and girls from different schools in western Kenya were studied with respect to the subject of homosexuality in secondary schools in Kenya.

In the study, 93 per cent of the students knew the meaning of the word homosexuality. Many children believed that homosexuality is practised in secondary schools in Kenya and most tellingly it is caused by “sexual starvation”. It is found in many single-sex schools. The authors conclude that the stakeholders might find the results useful even as they address “the legal and moral issues of homosexuality.”

Such a conclusion would be a cause for much consternation in many countries in the Western world. In America, and most of Europe homosexuality is legal and is not considered a moral issue. Indeed, since 1973, it ceased to exist in the classification of mental disorders.

Some Kenyans now believe that it is only a matter of time and Kenya will move together with the liberal west where gay and lesbian people are treated as equal and healthy citizens!

It is against this background that I find myself unable to give you a specific answer in the conviction that your action will be determined by the relationship between you and your parents.

If, for example, you have a good relationship with your parents, it is likely that you have dealt with other equally challenging situations in the past.

If on the other hand it is poor, the fact that you have a different sense of sexual orientation could spark many other problems.

Just to make your life more complex, heterosexual and homosexual feelings start in most people during high school years.

It is possible that the school is an innocent bystander in this challenging situation.