January 22nd 2018

Media / Arts & Culture

No lipstick: Vihiga school principal sets morality code for teachers

All was not well in the corridors of Friends School Kaimosi Girls High School in Vihiga County on Thursday June 2

By Lemmy Bramwellbramwel@kenyafreepress.comWednesday, 08 Jun 2016 12:26 EAT

An image of the memo by the Pricipal (Photo provided to Kenya Free Press by a member of the public)

All was not well in the corridors of Friends School Kaimosi Girls High School in Vihiga County on Thursday June 2. The school principal, Mrs. Violet Oyungu Opala, brought disquiet among female teachers by a terse memo cautioning them against use of lip stick and other makeup in the school.

The Principal said the use of makeup by the female teachers had become a matter of concern as some students, when warned against excessive beautification, pointed to the teachers as the ones setting the example.

An excerpt from the letter stated: “I write to inform you that we are finding it hard to correct some of our students in our school over the aforeunderlined.”

“I therefore ask that as from the date of this letter no female staff should use lipstick or eye makeup while on duty in school and while out with students  for any school function.”


The letter sparked uproar in social media platforms, with some Kenyans stating that the principal had exceeded her powers. Others supported her, saying that some teachers have negative influence on schoolgirls through inappropriate dressing and makeup. Others went further to state that all principals should follow suit and set up similar rules in their respective schools.

The Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers Secretary General Akelo Misori castigated the ban, calling it ill-advised.

“I cannot get a good explanation for this ill-advised letter. There is nothing wrong with teachers wearing makeup. We should not turn our institutions to be religious shrines.”

The principal explained her directive, saying that she will not allow the female teachers in the school to apply makeup during school hours but they can do that after school as much as they want when performing their activities like attending parties.

The writer is a student at University of Kabianga currently on internship at the Kenya Free Press.

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