Monday, Nov 24th 2014

Students of Kahuhuia Girls strike over beauty contest

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - 00:00 -- BY JESSE MWANGI

STUDIES at
Kahuhia Girls High School in Murang’a County was paralyzed yesterday after
students went on strike. About 298 students took to the streets to
demonstrate harassment by the school principal and her deputy. The students accused the administrators of
denying them a chance to hold co-curricular activities saying that a planned
beauty contest was cancelled at the last minute.

The strike also delayed the start of the ongoing
KCSE exams where 26 students were sitting their final examinations. The incensed students blocked traffic along the
Murang’a-Kangema road as they chanted slogans to taunt the school authority. The students complained that principal Josephine
Mwangi and deputy Virginia Wamuyu had conspired to stop the beauty
contest.

The altercation prompted the students to boycott
classes on Saturday night. “There is no way we can be forced to model wearing uniform,”
said Salma Kariuki, a form two student. The student claimed the deputy principal roughed up
a male teacher who had organised the event.

Another student, Maitai Mercy, said they had been forced to pay money for services they were not
enjoying and said their dormitories were too old for accommodation. “The principal should respect us and ensure
that food is fit for human consumption. What we are eating right now is
pathetic,” added another student.

Efforts by
education officials and the police to dialogue with the students failed. Kahuro district deputy education officer Kamau
Ruitha defended the school administration saying students were asking for
too much freedom.