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Magoha to face House departmental committee on education over school arsons

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 11 – Education Cabinet Secretary Prof. George Magoha is on Thursday expected to brief the National Assembly on practical measures the government is taking to address the increased cases of unrest in schools.

This is after the Nominated MP and former Kenya National Union of Teachers Secretary-General Wilson Sossion requested a statement in Parliament where he accused the government of turning a blind eye to the wave of arson which began a month ago in various parts of the country.

“This cycle of school unrest seems to have a repetitive pattern in almost every academic year,” he said, “I wish to seek a statement from the Chairperson of the Departmental Committee on Education, in view of proper governance structure in existence in managing schools in the education sectors in general what are the causes of the ongoing unrests across the country.”

More than 11 public boarding schools in various parts of the country have been closed indefinitely after fire targetting dormitories.

Notable incidents occurred in Buru Buru Girls High School in Nairobi where at least 20 students were hurt and in Maranda High School which among schools closed.

House Education Committee Chairperson and Busia County Woman Representative Florence Mutua confirmed that the CS had been invited to appear to address other queries by the MPs but will have to address the schools unrest as a matter of urgency.

Nominated MP Godfrey Osotsi and Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa demanded for the scope of investigation to be widened to look into whether fires are committed by or with the assistance of a person living or working on the premises where they occurred.

“There could be many reasons why we are having this problem; some are policy issues and some could be as a result of the 100 per cent transition which has led to congestion in schools,” Osotsi stated.

Wamalwa on his part added; “we even request the Committee to even summon the management of those respective schools, because it cannot just come out simultaneously and they ask the parents to pay this amount of money and when you do computation the amount is so exorbitant.”

The government has issued a strong warning against students who are burning schools, and authorities are making arrests.

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus in Kenya in March 2020, schools were closed for several months, until late last year.

The education systems in the country have been putting more pressure on teachers and students to recover the time lost.

Some experts are pushing for open forums in schools, where teachers and students can discuss their issues, before students feel the need to take drastic and destructive measures.

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