- Outgoing Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha said he did not care if he was called a dictator for pushing for a ban on adult content
- Magoha said the content was not desirable to learners because it was detrimental to their concentration levels
- An education expert opined that exposure to the content has far-reaching events on each and every student who, in one way or the other, accessed the videos
In mid-September, outgoing Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha said adult content websites should be banned in Kenya to protect children online.
Outgoing Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha spoke during the Kenya National Music Festival opening in Kisumu County. Photo: Education Ministry.
Magoha was speaking at the 94th Kenya National Music Festival held in Kisumu from Saturday, September 17 to 23rd of the same month.
He argued that while the internet had very useful advantages, the downside was more detrimental if not well addressed.
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“In as much as we enjoy the freedom of everything including the internet, the adult content sites centers must be blocked as soon as yesterday,” he proposed.
Outgoing Garissa Township MP Aden Duale had also sponsored a bill proposing punitive punishment against those found in ownership, sale and display of adult content.
TUKO.co.ke spoke to education stakeholders and experts to understand the actual state of the situation and what the law stated about children and adult video content.
Tenets of the law on adult content and children
The Sexual Offenses Act section (16) (1) (e) states that any person, including a legal person, who knowingly displays, shows, exposes or exhibits obscene images, words or sounds by means of print, audio-visual or any other media to a child with intention of encouraging or enabling a child to engage in sexual acts is guilty of an offense of child abuse and, upon conviction, is liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than six years or to a fine of not less than five hundred thousand shillings or to both and upon subsequent conviction, for imprisonment to a term of not less than seven years without the option of a fine.
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Education Specialist Jasper Ondimu opined that adult content destroys the lives of students at extreme levels.
“Adult content destroys the lives of students. Many students who indulge themselves in watching grow up with low self-esteem with disturbed childhood,” Ondimu said.
Ondimu further said the content greatly affects the concentration levels and the memory of learners and distracts their attention in class.
“The content greatly impairs the concentration of learners in class since most of them who engage in this vice sometimes fantasize about engaging in sexual acts with the teachers,” he explained.
The education specialist also disclosed that familiarity with the content has driven the children into explicit practices because of the need for adventure.
“The vice has also led to problems such as explicit practices in illicit acts because those who engage in it look for means of implementing what to watch,” he stated.
He urged schools to establish strong guidance and counseling departments to guide young children who engage in this vice to correct their ways.
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Child sexual exploitation and abuse report
According to a report by the National Plan of Action to Combat Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (OCSEA) findings in June this year, 21.9 million children have widespread access to prohibited content, making them more vulnerable to exploitation.
The above accounts for over 50%, half of the children’s population in the country.
According to a report by the State Department of Social Protection, Senior Citizens Affairs and Special Programs, minors are involved in online dating because of the internet connection.
A netizen recently cautioned Kenyan parents to provide money for their children to buy data and airtime if they have decided to make gadgets like smartphones available to them.
The netizen opined that was the only way parents can keep their children away from perverts who wanted to take advantage of them because of their borrowing.
He argued that opportunistic people use the window to coerce minors into pervasive acts.
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The ‘adult’ topic in a typical Kenyan home
A typical African or Kenyan home would shy away from discussing adult content with their children or in a family setting.
The children end up learning it from friends, online, from total strangers or through their adventurous escapades.
In their journey in the murky world of the internet, they will interact with content that will raise their curiosity and be baited once they click.
Another recent report stated that 67% of children between the age of 12 to 17 have internet access, and two-thirds do not have any supervised operation online.
50% of the children have already accessed adult content websites.
A source who sought anonymity said his friends introduced him to the adult content videos when he was below 18 years old; after he watched, he would sneak into movies to watch the videos.
After he finished school and went to campus, his access to the internet made the habit worse.
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He had to look for help to get out of the mud of watching adult content.
Ruth, the founder of Second Chance and a former addict, agreed that many young people are a case of two blind people leading each other.
The church said society should help the battling the vice to reform.
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