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Kenyan learners have petitioned the education ministry over the issue of hairstyles ahead of schools’ reopening.

The online petition seeks to force the education ministry to allow Kenyan learners to have different hairstyles as opposed to shaving.

The online campaign dubbed “Help Kenyan Students to Have Freedom with their Hair” has so far gathered momentum with over 8, 800 signatures having been collected by August 18.

The proponents of the campaign are mainly students and parents. They are targeting  10, 000 signatures arguing that it is high time Kenyans resist neocolonialism being perpetuated through mandatory shaving.

According to the organizers, the motive behind the shaving was misunderstood as Africans were obliged to shave their hair by the colonial powers for it was perceived as dirty, unkempt, and unhealthy.

The shaving of heads was an indicator of neatness, a culture that was passed on to schools.

“For generations, passed down from the colonial period, Kenyans and most probably many other African countries have been forced to shave (boys and some girls) and/or style their hair a specific way (mostly girls),” reads the petition read in part.

The petitioners want learners to be given the freedom to keep long hair as long as it is neat and whoever breaches the rule should then get a penalty-shaving the hair.

“The issue of hair shaving and/or specific styling is deeply irritating, especially knowing that the only reason why such laws are being enforced can easily be contained and solved,” they noted.

The issue of hairstyles came into the limelight in 2019 after a girl was suspended from school for having dreadlocks.

What ensued was uproar from Kenyans and a legal proceeding that saw the then CS education Dr. Amina Mohammed direct Olympic High School to re-admit the girl on grounds that she had a right to education.

On schools’ reopening, CS Magoha has directed parents and learners to brace themselves for tougher times ahead since schools may remain closed for a longer period.

A section of parents have however  written  to the CS demanding that schools be reopened by September 1, 2020 as earlier planned arguing that extended closure culminates into abused of children righs.



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