By Samuel Ouma
Reminiscent of the 2016 arson attacks in schools is taking shape after five schools were indefinitely closed in less than one week.
Maliera boys secondary school, Maranda School, Chalbi boys high school, Kisumu and Ng’iya girls schools’ students were sent home over unrests for various reasons. Studies at Maliera were halted on Friday morning after students went on rampage on Thursday night demanding a new school bus and entertainment every week.
It is alleged the protest began on Wednesday night but they were contained by police. The school Principal Samuel Oyondi confirmed that the students attempted to torch down the library claiming their grievances were not being heard.
“During the rampage the student complained that their school bus is old and the school was not allowing them to have entertainment every weekend. So there demands are a scenic school bus and entertainment every weekend among other demands,” said the school Principal Mr. Samuel Oyondi.
On Wednesday Siaya County Director of Education Japheth Masibo ordered immediate closure of Maranda School after students protested against mistreatment by the administration. They floored strict boarding rules. The highly ranked school nationally closure was preceded by Chalbi Boys’ following an attack on 6 non-local teachers on Tuesday morning.
Property of unknown value was also destroyed at Kisumu Girls on Sunday night over poor management by the administration. They expressed their dissatisfaction with regular diet, entertainment and worship time. The irate students destroyed window panes of the administration block and the Principal’s house.
The Government has attributed the current wave of unrest to panic over exams. While speaking at Dagoreti High School, one of the schools recently affected by strike; Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang directed regional education boards to work with county officers to obviate school strife.
“We have done our investigations which indicate that the cases are due to panic over exams that are set to begin in coming months. Most of the students in affected schools seem unprepared due to the tight examination regulations in place,” said Dr. Belio Kipsang.
Dr. Kipsang said they will not be cowed by the students’ illegitimate actions, adding the Government is working towards improvement of education sector.
“No amount of threats from students will make us go back to where we were when cheating was normal,” noted Mr. Kipsang.
He also lauded the transfer of six teachers who were assaulted by students at Chalbi Boys Secondary School by Teachers Service Commission (TSC).
“We support the decision taken by TSC. We would like to urge students to respect their teachers. Teachers are like their parents and any attack on teachers is criminal,” said Dr. Kipsang.
In 2016 more than 100 schools nationwide were razed by fire alleged to have been caused by rowdy students.