Sajiloni Girls Secondary School head, Zipporah Gitonga, warned journalist against publishing a story of a physically challenged Form One student she chased away.
Purity Naserian, 17, is a physically challenged Form One student who was kicked out school in Kajiado for losing her artificial eye while asleep.
Trouble started when Naserian woke up from her bed in the morning of Friday, January 25, and went to report about it to her matron, who later relayed the same to Principal Zipporah Gitonga.
Gitonga on Wednesday evening warned KNU against publishing the nerve-raising story and what transpired in her school, saying; “Go ahead and publish your rubbish without my comment”.
Gitonga is said to have summoned Naserian to her office and asked her what could have led to the loss of her artificial eye and explanation appeared to have enraged the principal thus forcing her to summon the student’s mother.
Regina Leino, the mother of Naserian, arrived at the school the same day and was issued by the principal with three foolscaps of paper to give to give to her daughter to explain how her artificial left eye went missing in her sleep.
Gitonga told the Star on Wednesday evening she cannot confirm or deny the allegations heaped on her through the phone, adding that the school is on half-term recess and will only consider inviting this reporter when she is back and when time allows.
When we told her we could not afford to wait until she comes back to school next week, she reacted angrily saying; “If you cannot wait, go ahead and write all the rubbish in your Star newspaper because I cannot give a damn.”
We had explained that we wanted to hear her part of the story and what could have led to the rejection of the girl at the school. She even wondered why we were on a hurry to publish the story.
Naserian claimed the principal abused her in front of her mother and even referred her as a fool for failing to account for her artificial eye.
“She first asked me in front of our school bursar and my mother in Kiswahili – ‘Kwani wewe ni mjinga, umewahi kufa ukapigwa na shock alafu ukafufuka’ (Whether I am a fool, and whether I had died one day before I was put back to life through electric shock?)”
“I told her it had never happened to me, and immediately ordered us to leave school and return on February 2. When I arrived at the school with my mother, we went to the bursar who explained to me that I had spoiled the name of the school by claiming my eye had been stolen,” said Naserian.
The bursar allegedly told her in front of her mother that she should look for another school because of her stay there will not be guaranteed.
Leino claimed the principal told her she will not take back her daughter until she gets a full explanation on how her artificial eye went missing.
“I told her to refund back our Sh22, 365 she had deposited to the school’s account but she said it cannot be refunded. I suggested to her that there is another orphan at the same school who I want my money transferred her account and she agreed to the arrangement,” said Leino.
Kajiado Central Sub County Education Officer, Selesio Molinge, confirmed he has started an investigation on the matter touching on the Form One student and how the principal handled the issue.
“I am also in possession of the principal’s report explaining the circumstances Naserian lost her artificial eye. This is a sensitive matter which I have instructed our quality assurance officer to initiate the investigation on the alleged injustices against the physically challenged student,” said Molinge.
Molinge said it was wrong for the principal to refuse refund of the school fees for Naserian, who scored 301 marks in her Kenya Certificate of Primary Education.
Naserian said she has since been fitted with a new artificial eye but fears going back to the school where she has been marked by the principal and the bursar.
“They have maligned my name in front of my parents, teachers, and students. They are calling me mono-eyed, and I cannot stand that anymore. This was a natural disease that I fought for more than 10 years,” said Naserian at their Enkasiti home in Kitengela.
Her mother said she got an eye infection at a tender age of 5 which later doctors were forced to remove it and replace with an artificial one.
She joined Sajiloni Girls Secondary School on January 21, 2019. Her mother has found an alternative school at Moi Girls – Kibwezi but does not have enough fees.
“I had paid a total of Sh37, 235 to Sajiloni Girls for tuition and uniforms,” added Naserian’s mother.