Arrest, prosecute and jail student arsonists – Matiang’i

Arrest, prosecute and jail student arsonists - Matiang'i
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i. Photo/Courtesy

Any student involved in burning of school property should be arrested, prosecuted and jailed, this is according to Education Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i.

Speaking at Ngara Girls School during a prize giving ceremony, the Education CS revealed that in Meru County alone, cases of arson have been reported in 64 schools in the last three years.

“On this we are united. I have been in constant conversation with my colleague General Nkaissery, the police and everybody. The students should be arrested, prosecuted and jailed. The arrests have been happening, three students were taken to court yesterday. I know there are several others who have been arrested and investigations are underway,” said Matiang’i.

Matiang’i noted that students involved in cases of arson will pay for the damages and not the government.

The Education ruled out re-introducing corporal punishment in schools to tame growing indiscipline and unrest in the schools.

“Time is here for us to have a very honest conversation with ourselves and confront this issue. I believe that people who tell me oh, let’s go back to corporal punishments are escapists. Let us face this situation and ask ourselves the question; why are these things happening?’ stated the CS.

Matiang’i challenged school boards to convene meetings with parents, teachers and students, on how to tackle the growing unrest.

The statements by the CS come at a time when a wave of schools arson have gripped the country resulting to the loss of school property worth millions of shillings.

On Wednesday, Matiang’i directed that Boards of Managements hold meetings in schools within the next seven days to assure learners of their safety and listen to grievances the students could be having.

“BOMs in affected schools to carry out thorough investigations and ensure that those found culpable face appropriate legal action including those who are under 18 years of age be prosecuted in juvenile courts,’ read a statement from the CS’ office.

He also directed that transfer of students from one school to another shall be sanctioned by the Sub-County Director of Education; this applies to public or private schools.

“Clearance for transfer will only be granted by Principals after the affected students would have cleared all fees, fines or losses incurred by students in their current schools,” read the statement in part.

The Government had in 2001 and 2008 set up Task forces to enquire into the causes of student unrests and made recommendations which it continues to progressively implement.

According to the statement from the Education CS’ office, the latest efforts to address the problem was done at a congregation of stakeholders chaired by the then Cabinet Secretary Prof. Jacob Kaimenyi at Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) on 30th July, 2015, to discuss the same.

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Maureen Murimi
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