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July 20, 2018

New school rules to remain in force despite student protests

The aftermath of a dormitory fire at St Mary's Mumias Girls' High School, July 9, 2018. /HILTON OTENYO
The aftermath of a dormitory fire at St Mary's Mumias Girls' High School, July 9, 2018. /HILTON OTENYO

New school regulations will remain in force despite the wave of unrest among students, Education CS Amina Mohamed said yesterday.

Thirty schools have been closed across the country after fires destroyed property. Amina said the change in education policies is not to blame. She urged parents, teachers, students and other sector players to be ready for change to improve education standards.

“Enforcement of policy change cannot be halted simply because there is unrest in our schools,” she said at St Mary’s Girls, Mumias, Kakamega. St Mary’s Girls, Mumias, was closed on Monday after a fire razed down a 114-capacity dormitory.

The ministry will initiate more changes to end unrest and promote discipline, she said. One of the contested policies is the delocalisation of school heads by the TSC.

The ministry has also rolled out a raft of measures aimed at ensuring accountability in school management.

Amina also met with principals and other stakeholders from Western Kenya at St Peter’s Boys’ High School, Mumias. “It’s absurd. In the whole world, only in Kenya do students burn their schools,” she said. The CS said parents will pay for the repair of schools damaged by their children.

She dismissed reports that abolishing corporal punishment fuelled trouble in schools.

“Caning is not the only mode of discipline. Discipline can be instilled in our children in different ways,” she said. Amina said students found culpable would be charged.

“The law has created space for juvenile offenders to be charged. If any student is found to have committed arson, they will charged for that offence,” she said.

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