POOR INFRASTRUCTURE

14 private Nyamira schools closed in crackdown

Some have been ordered to make adjustments to meet the recommended standards

In Summary

• At Gusii Show Ground in Kisii, more than four schools and daycare centres were ordered to fold and transfer pupils to nearby public schools. 

• Parents displeased with impromptu transfers, say they will affect exam performance. 

The scene where eight pupils from Precious Talent School in Nairobi died on September 23 after the classroom collapsed
POOR STRUCTURES: The scene where eight pupils from Precious Talent School in Nairobi died on September 23 after the classroom collapsed
Image: WILFRED NYANGARESI

The government has shut down 14 private schools in Nyamira county in the ongoing countrywide crackdown on infrastructurally defective learning institutions. 

A public school in Borabu was ordered to close down its boarding section on Thursday after it emerged the management had not applied a licence for it. 

County commissioner Amos Mariba said many of the schools affected were in bad shape. 

"Site visits to the schools by the inspectors found most of those schools to have dilapidated buildings that are unsafe for learning," Mariba said. 

The inspection and assessment is still going on and more schools may be shut if they are found unsafe for learning, he said.

"No school will be spared if it does not meet the standards." 

Some schools were, however, ordered to make adjustments to meet the recommended standards.

"Soon we will go back to check if some improvements have been done, otherwise they will risk being shut too," the administrator told the Star on the phone on Thursday.

In Kisii, more schools were closed as the crackdown entered the second week.

At Gusii Show Ground alone, more than four schools and daycare centres were ordered to fold and transfer pupils to nearby public schools.

At least 36 pupils were huddled in one of the makeshift buildings which acts as a daycare and were waiting to be picked by their parents on Thursday afternoon when the Star visited. 

Bhangi Daycare was located near the kraal where show organisers temporarily hold cattle meant for display at the annual agricultural show.

The centre lacked ventilation and its toilets were on the verge of sinking.

Another academy located in a farm produce store was also ordered shut. The proprietors were ordered to transfer their pupils to the neighbouring Kisii Primary which is also congested.

Parents who spoke to the Star expressed anger at the crackdown saying it is being done in an inhumane manner.

James Moruri said the learners could have been allowed to do this year's examination and get relocated next year.

"How do you relocate pupils in between a term? The managers could have been notified of the intention to close their schools and then be given time to make adjustments and us parents to find alternative schools for our young ones," he told the Star.

Some school proprietors said the crackdown has rendered many teachers jobless.

"I have had to send home eight teachers myself.  We are also talking of more than 55 schools closed around the county where tens of others have walked home with nothing but talents that sorely need jobs," Josphat Ombongi, the proprietor of one school closed down in Kisii, told the Star.

Edited by R.Wamochie