September 24, 2020

High school students jailed over school unrest

The State has now ordered all boarding schools’ head teachers to double the number of teachers on duty over the next two weeks to curb the wave of unrests being experienced in schools in the country.

Quality assurance officers in all counties were also on Monday directed to file daily reports on the security situations in their regions with clear explanations on any existing gaps.

“We are giving greater emphasis on surveillance of boarding facilities when students are attending evening preps and taken up measures to ensure that normal teaching and learning is resumed in the affected schools,” said Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed.

10 boarding secondary schools have experienced cases of unrest from last week. Of these, seven are arson cases that have targeted dormitories when students were undertaking their evening studies.

“It is worrying that in Nyanza, some of the schools affected have never been involved in similar cases earlier,” CS Amina said.

She added: “The ministry has intensified field visits by officials, who will visit regions that have reported the highest cases of unrest. Some of the regions are North Eastern, Eastern and Coast.”

Amina warned that perpetrators of the criminal activities risk jail terms and failure to get jobs or Government scholarships.

“We wish to inform the public that three students from Siakago Boys in Embu have been jailed for one year on probation and have since cleared from the school. They can only attend a day school as they report to the local chief,” the CS said.

The CS said 125 students from various affected schools have been arrested as police intensify the crackdown on all masterminds of the recent cases of student unrest.

“We are serious on this. Last year, 1035 students who were involved in indiscipline cases were arrested. Their cases are on-going. Starting this year, we will record on criminal activities students’ leaving certificates,” Amina said.

She added, “We will follow up by not recommending them for Government scholarships and denying them certificates of good conduct so that they will never be employed. They have to choose to do what is right.”

She also released a preliminary report on her instructions to head teachers and Chairs of Boards of Management (BOMs) to undertake Stakeholder meetings and identify areas that needed attention.

“This pre-emptive action has aided in significantly reducing the number of incidents this year compared to the numbers we have for 2016 and 2017,” she said.

However, the report indicates that reasons contributing to the unrest include students’ reaction to last year’s cancellation of Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination results.

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