Government to launch probe into school’s arson cases

The government is set to launch investigations into the spate of arson attacks that have hit secondary schools in recent days.

The decision was reached after Cabinet Secretary for Education Fred Matiang’i, held a consultative meeting with the Teachers Service Commission and officials of the Kenya National Union of Teachers in Mombasa last evening.

Unrest in schools have witnesses a surge with the teacher’s unions blaming the recent school calendar changes for the increase of incidences.

But that notion was quickly dismissed by Dr Matiang’i who argued that the rules were introduced recently and therefore cannot be blamed for student strikes which have been witnesses for a long time now.

The latest incident occurred in Karaba Boys Secondary school in Mbeere South constituency in Embu County where seven students were apprehended after they were suspected of planning to torch a dormitory.

They were seized while in possession of petrol according to Kiritiri Deputy County Commissioner Beverly Opwora.

Four days earlier, a mysterious fire gutted a dormitory in Kericho Boys High School leaving 124 students without a place to sleep.

While Principal Daniel Chelule dismissed claims of unrest, he put the blame on “a few wayward students’ whom he said had been sent home for allegedly masterminding protests at the school earlier in the year.

Most of these incidences have been witnessed during the second term and the government now wants to get behind the cause.

Meanwhile Dr Matiang’i has hailed the signing of a Collective Bargaining Agreement between TSC and KNUT, saying it will create the industrial peace necessary for delivery of efficient and effective educational services to Kenya’s children.

The CS said consultations would help the government and stakeholders address the challenges facing the sector in an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect.

Matters touching on curriculum reform, availability of instructional materials for learners, the need to provide credible national examinations to candidates in primary and secondary schools, and effective auditing of school finances were some of the issues that were also discussed.



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