57 Kenyan students detained for watching porn at movie house, 3 others arrested

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Some of the secondary school students who were detained in Nakuru, Kenya

Dozens of students in Kenya were detained Wednesday for watching pornographic content at a business area in the city of Nakuru near the capital, Nairobi.

Three people who owned the business establishments where the students were caught were also arrested for using their premises to show porn.

The students detained are from three Nakuru schools, according to a Kenyan official, James Kinari.

“After a thorough investigation we discovered that the students have been visiting the premises to watch movies and pornography,” Kinari said.

Officials confiscated gadgets from the premises located in Nakuru’s central business district, the Daily Nation reported.

Last November, Kenya’s government announced plans to restrict access to online pornographic sites as part of moves to reduce pregnancies among schoolchildren.

This came on the back of growing concerns over teenage pregnancies. Between July 2016 and June 2017, the Kenyan health ministry recorded about 350,000 pregnancies in the 15 to 19 age group, reported African Globe.

In Kenya, sex education takes the abstinence-only approach and efforts to bring in comprehensive sexual education have been met with opposition from the church and from a section of parents, who feel their children will be exposed to such immoral acts.

This is unfortunate as statistics indicate that children as young as 10 are already engaging in sexual acts.

The issue is deeper than this. Most parents were also not taught sex education (most had to figure out things on their own), which means they do not know how to deal with teaching others – something made even worse with the rise of free and accessible digital media.

They also had to face consequences such as shaming and discrimination when their parents or the society discovered they were having sex.

Last April, Kenyan Twitter was ablaze with anger and condemnation over a trending hashtag #ifikiewazazi (Swahili for ‘this should get to the parents’).

The hashtag was generated to expose a bunch of teenagers allegedly sharing raunchy and nude photos on social media platforms, including Instagram. The photos went viral and some even landed on the parent’s phones as originally intended.

In Kenya, the failure to teach children about sex and sexuality and everything surrounding it is the reason most of them look for alternative sources of information. From popular media to experienced peers, these sources of information may not have the right information or the best strategy to educate the teens on sex.

Experts believe that parents, educators, the church and any other stakeholder dealing with children will need to go back to the drawing board when it comes to sex education, especially with reports indicating that there has been an increase of online child sexual exploitation in Africa.

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