By Joseph Lister Nyaringo,
New Jersey, USA
Mutula should let schools to choose students’ dressing code
I vehemently disagree with the Minister for education over his recent
support to students of Rwathia Girls Secondary for demanding to be
allowed to wear short skirts against the school’s dressing code.
Kenyans expected Mutula Kilonzo, to focus on his core Ministerial
duties and not to lecture Kenyan teachers and students about
The modernity Mutula talks about should not drive us to ruin our
societal decency. I’m sure any parent will undergo a nervous breakdown
to discover that their beloved girl-child has been raped on her way
from School because of dressing in a manner that provoked or enticed a
It’s a good practise to shield that which entices the eye to make a
person sin. Even the Bible reminds us not to partake that which will
make your friend to stumble.
Girls and boys at puberty want to attract attention through their
looks and outfits. This is a critical stage for every human being and
whoever is tasked with mentoring these youngsters must be good role
This is exactly what the administration of Rwathia Girls School is
trying to do by ensuring that the students dress decently,
respectively and comfortably. That is why Mutula’s liberal view on the
dressing code for Kenyan girls is irresponsible, immoral and uncalled
As a father figure, we expected him to be the guide towards moral
ethic; respect and encouraging young people both girls boy, to guard
their decency. Otherwise, dressing decently is a moral responsibility
which should be upheld by all gender irrespective of age.
Therefore, encouraging the girls to dress provocatively or seductively
under the aegis of modernity is actually giving rapists ammunitions
The trend is likely to elicit negative repercussions especially in
mixed boarding schools where girls and boys mingle freely. It seems
Mutula has never heard of mass rape within institutions.
We have experienced many acts of sexual violence mostly against women
and the girl child where the victims rarely get justice. Quite often,
the contributing factor is poor mode of dressing which attracts the
Unlike in the West where a distress call is answered within 3 minutes
by police, and where most school going children carry cell phones, the
Kenyan situation is a different ball game.
The Ministry of education should give a free hand for institutions to
build their own standards for discipline including the dressing code.
I applause Rwathia Girls Secondary for trying to enforce a decent
dressing code for their students should be emulated by other public
and private schools in Country.
Even in the Western World where students’ mode of dressing is never a
major issue, some schools still embrace a dressing code depending on
the standards set upon by the School Districts.
Therefore, it’s our responsibility to reject any modern or Western
styles which can taint the moral fabric of our young people. We need
to promote those which will work for our private and public wellbeing.
It’s sad to see our young men and women getting more Americanized than
the American themselves. On dressing, what we see on the streets on
Nairobi is not different from what you will see in Chicago and New
I am not trying to imply that what is American is bad but we need to
respect, maintain and uphold our identity. The rate at which our
people are imitating the western styles like talking accents,
gestures, and dressing, while thinking that ours is primitive and
inferior is totally misplaced.
Why copy ways which do not conform to our customs or add value to our
lives under the aegis of modernity and freedom of choice that Mutula
his talking about? We know very well that Westerners, do not copy
any of our customs.
We need to remember that as a society, we need to respect our values
which are often pegged on our culture, morals and traditions.