Magoha warns arsonists as three more schools burn

Tuesday, November 9th, 2021 03:02 | By
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha. PHOTO/Courtesy

Three more secondary schools were shut yesterday as the wave of arson attacks hit more learning institutions across the country.

Maranda High School in Bondo sub-county, Siaya county, Garissa High School in Garissa County and Muruguru Girls High school in Nyeri county were shut yesterday morning and students ordered to go home after a mysterious fire razed down dormitories on Sunday night.

Latest arson came as Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha issued stern warning to school fire arsonists saying their actions will not only be updated in their profiles but also haunt them during and after school life.

 “It looks mundane and juvenile for someone who is in high school to burn a dormitory. What has the building done to you? Let us not pretend that they are burning dormitories due to stress from Corona, that is not true,” fumed Magoha.

He said there is no close linkage between Covid-19 and school fires since statistics show that such incidents existed even before the pandemic.

“My charge to you teachers is this: What is all this nonsense that students were in class and fire struck a dormitory yet you all have CCTV’s all over with a manned command centre?  It is stupid, it is primitive and must stop. We are not closing any school,” stated Magoha.

No exam postponement

He warned that the national examination will not be postponed and that the curriculum calendar will be followed to the letter.

“Anybody planning to burn a building, take note that when you are caught you are not going to transfer to any public school in this country. You will go back and your parents pay for the damage you caused. Secondly it will remain in your record such that when you come looking for a job later in life, it will haunt you,” he charged.

Kenya Secondary School Heads Association (Kessha) national chairman Kahi Indimuli on his part urged students to air their grievances in an elitist manner instead of burning properties.

“There is no amount of stress that can make you damage property that has been funded by parents and even the Government. We want to ask students to open up on issues with school administration so that we can discuss and find amicable solutions,” Kahi urged.

Maranda High School was closed indefinitely after a fire burnt a 200-student capacity twin dormitory, with property of unknown value destroyed in the Sunday night incident.

County Director of Education Nelson Sifuna said the institution was closed to diffuse rising tension that engulfed the school.

 “No casualties were reported in an incident that saw six students who are prime suspects arrested and moved to Bondo Police Station for questioning,” said Sifuna.

Enhance patrols

Sifuna said six security personnel in the school are also being probed since they were expected to enhance patrols at the dormitory site.

 “We now expect the Board of Management to deliberate on short-term measures that will see the more than 170 students affected by inferno resume learning,” he said.

 The fire incident that reduced to ashes, Ogango A dormitory that housed Form Four students occurred at around 10.00pm Sunday night when students were on night prep.

 According to Bondo sub-county police Commander Roseline Cheboso, the Siaya fire brigade put out the fire after 30 minutes but by the time they arrived, a lot of property had already been destroyed and nothing was salvaged.

 Garissa High School was also closed indefinitely after an early morning arson attack, raising the number of schools closed as a result of fire incidents across the country.

More on News