Committee given 30 days to submit report.
Arson hit three secondary schools on Wednesday as the government appointed a team to investigate the wave of fires that has hit public boarding schools across the country.
Students at Muhoho High School in Kiambu, Giakaibii Boys High School in Nyeri and Ruthimitu Secondary School in Nairobi set their schools on fire.
At Muhoho, the students burnt an entire tuition block with six classrooms on Tuesday night, while in Giakaibii, a dormitory and a computer laboratory were reduced to ashes on Wednesday morning.
At Ruthimitu, a dormitory was set ablaze in the morning. The school’s neighbours helped put it out.
At least 73 schools have been torched this term.
Stung by the relentless attacks that have threatened to throw secondary education into a crisis, the government formed an eight-member special investigation team comprising security experts and educationists.
The team has members from the Interior and Education ministries and will be led by career provincial administrator Mrs Claire Omolo. She is the secretary of administration in the President’s office.
Members are; Mrs Lilian Muli (assistant inspector-general of police), Patrick Mugo (criminal investigation directorate), Charles Khayira (education), James Kairu, (education), Ms Loise Nyaseda (Teachers Service Commission), educationist Dr Gracie Mullei and Lt.Col (Rtd) F.C Mugambi.
Education and Interior Cabinet Secretaries Fred Matiang’i and Maj Gen Joseph Nkaissery gave the team 30 days to submit its report.
The team will be required to review recommendations of past task forces on student unrest, assess implementation and suggest ways of incorporating some of the proposals.
SAFETY AND SECURITY
It will also audit school safety and security regulations and propose how to ensure higher discipline standards in schools.
“The report should clearly outline measures to be taken to forestall future cases of unrest and also spell out those who will be held responsible for the school fires, including through prosecution and surcharging of suspects,” said the two Cabinet secretaries in a joint statement.
They said: “In the meantime, directions already issued on containing indiscipline in schools and holding culprits to account must be heeded. The government expects deeper positive community involvement in the protection of learners and property”.
Already more than 100 students have been arrested while another 45 have been charged in court.
Speaking when he appeared before Senate Committee on Education on Tuesday, Dr Matiang’i said parents would bear all costs of repairing the damaged schools.
“No government resources, including constituency development fund will be used to repair the damaged schools,” he said.
Elgeyo-Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen said philanthropists who had helped construct schools were discouraged by the chaos.
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