All learners to break for midterm in two weeks, clarifies Magoha

Thursday, November 4th, 2021 00:00 | By
Education CS George Magoha inspects equipment at Murang’a University of Technology during the launch of a three-day international conference on Technology and Innovation. Photo/PD/REBECCAH WANGARI

Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha has clarified that both primary and secondary schools will take half term break in two weeks’ time.

“From the circular issued earlier, it indicated that secondary students were the only ones to proceed for mid-term but the break is for all learners in both secondary and primary schools,” explained the CS in Murang’a county, yesterday.

Education Principal Secretary Dr Julius Jwan also issued another circular yesterday clarifying that the break applies to all secondary and primary schools.

The first circular issued on Tuesday only indicated that secondary schools would take the break from November 19 – 23.

The Government yielded to pressure and reinstated the half term break following a wave of unrest in a number of secondary schools.

About 20 secondary schools have been closed indefinitely following students’ unrest and arson attacks.

This came as senators summoned Magoha and Jwan over the arson attacks in schools.

The lawmakers also invited Kenya Secondary’s Heads Associations (KSSHA) leadership, among other stakeholders to discuss the possible causes of the infernos and future remedies.

They cited indiscipline, peer pressure, pressure on learners exerted by congested and erratic academic calendar for the incidences.

Peer pressure

“The pressure that is being put on learners, I think something needs to be done. Peer pressure is largely to blame for the fires. If these students see that school has been burnt, they also burn theirs. It has become a series,” Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja said.

On Tuesday, Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua sought urgent action to tame the fires which he said are quickly getting out of hand.

“The committee should investigate the factors behind the ongoing unrest in schools such as Buru Buru Girls among other secondary schools that have led to dormitories being set on fire causing injuries to numerous students, including one reported death,” said Wambua.

Magoha will be expected to explain proactive measures his ministry is undertaking to ensure smooth learning in schools. He will also be expected to divulge the ministry’s plan to ease pressure on the learners who appear to be under pressure due to congested calendar.

Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei termed as worrying the current school unrest.

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At the same time, County Commissioners have directed secondary schools principals to prepare a security situation report in their respective institutions against the backdrop of increased number of fire incidences.

Kakamega County Commissioner Pauline Dolla said the wave that has hit schools can be addressed if principals share vital information with security agencies in their respective sub-counties early enough.

Speaking in Kakamega during a meeting on Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) infrastructure development programme, the County Commissioner asked the principals to be keen and detect early warning signs to curb the menace.

“Education officials should visit schools and do situational analysis and even engage with boards of management and students to understand what ails them,” she said.

Kakamega has so far witnessed fire incidences and strikes in about three schools among them St Charles Lwanga and Kimang’eti secondary schools. She also called for the need to invest in Closed Circuit Television (CCTV), which will go a long way in detecting criminal activities.

“Some schools have only installed CCTV’s around the administration block, but this should be extended to dormitories,” she said.

Elsewhere, Central Regional Commissioner Wilfred Nyagwanga launched a multi-agency committee to investigate the ongoing school unrest in the region.

This is after cases of arson were reported in  more than 50 schools in the region with the latest case being Kiburu Boys High School in Kirinyaga, where a dormitory was set ablaze on Monday night.

Speaking during the launch of the committee in his office on Tuesday, Nyagwanga said the government will not sit and watch  the destruction of property in schools adding that those found culpable will face the full force of the law.

In Kapenguria, two Ortum Boys High School students were remanded by a Kapenguria law court over allegations of attempted arson. The two appeared before Principal Magistrate Margaret Nafula but did not take any plea.  The case will be mentioned on November 8, 2021.

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