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July 20, 2018

Parents to undertake repair of burnt school buildings – Amina

Education CS Amina Mohamed before the parliamentary Education committee regarding Statute Law Amendment Bill, 2018 and the management of public universities. May 30, 2018. /JACK OWUOR
Education CS Amina Mohamed before the parliamentary Education committee regarding Statute Law Amendment Bill, 2018 and the management of public universities. May 30, 2018. /JACK OWUOR

Ministry of Education has said the government will not pay for damage of infrastructure caused by the recent series of student unrest in the country.

Speaking in Nairobi on Thursday, CS Amina Mohammed said the parents in individual schools will be required to undertake the expenses.

Ministry of Education report indicates 44 schools have been closed down due to the unrest.

Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) in an assesment report named 2018 school unrest tabulation and released on Thursday, has documented 29 schools that have razed structures and destroyed property since May 2018 leading to indefinite closure of the institutions.

According to the report, Lamu Boys Secondary School was the first institution to experience the unrest on May 9.

Nyanza region has the highest number of schools that have experienced unrest with 9 schools recorded in the report.

Western region follows with four schools listed in the KNUT assessment report.

A report by security agencies in Nyanza region released by Regional Police Commander Lewnard Katana on Wednesday indicate 4, 200 secondary school students in Nyanza are out of school following the spate of unrest reported in the area.

Students in Kisumu are the most affected, with 2, 050 students out of school according to the report.

However, the ministry is yet to establish the worth of property destroyed in the unrest.

"We are still assessing the situation in the schools and they will be reopened when the government deems them safe for learners," Mohammed said.

Mohammed said students in the final year involved in arson cases will however await investigation from the police to decide if they will sit for their examination.

"No issue is worth destruction of property, all issues can be addressed diplomatically on the table, the national examination, however, will continue as planned," the CS said.

Senate education committee chaiperson Christopher Langat condemned destruction of property in school calling for use of intelligence in schools to detect unrest before it happens.

"We have the NIS in our country and school managements should use it to detect the unrest," Langat said.

TSC and Ministry to blame

KNUT secretary general Wilson Sossion said the union will support the ministry in the fight against unrest.

"Destroying property including books and lab equipment and other teaching aids would be punishing parents indirectly as they are the very people who will eventually shoulder the responsibility of reconstructing the buildings and buying new materials," Sossion said.

Sossion has asked the ministry to revoke policies that didn't involve public participation noting the delocalization policy has a hand in the ongoing unrest.

"The data collected indicate that TSC and the Ministry of Education carry the blame as all arrows point at them for poor and unpopular policies. They have to go back to the drawing board to review the policies," Sossion said.

More on this: [VIDEO] Alarm as new wave of fires hits schools

Read: Parents will pay for school fire damage

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