Close down all schools, KNUT tells gov’t


Close down all schools, KNUT tells gov't
KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion

The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) has called on the Ministry of Education to consider closing down all schools in Kenya following the recent spate of school fires around the country.

In a statement to newsrooms, KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion said they believe that the unrest is caused by the change of school calendar which he claims was done without consultations.

“We believe that cutting down on the school calendar would be of great help and an immediate measure of arresting the disastrous fire incidences that could boil into much more painful occurrences if not dealt with properly.” read the statement in part

Sossion also demanded the immediate release of teachers being held over claims of arson insisting that teachers have nothing to do with the fire incidences and should not be victimised for nothing.

The teachers’ body has further called for the formation of an independent investigations committee comprising of government officials from the Interior and Education ministries to look into the matter.

The KNUT Secretary General also asked the government to take full responsibility for the liabilities accrued from the uncontrolled fires in schools which Sossion further indicates that the Ministry of Education has put the cost of the losses at half a billion shillings.

Last week, the government formed an eight-member Special Investigations Team to ‘vigorously comb the areas affected by incidents of school unrest’.

The team is required to ensure comprehensive investigation of all cases of school fires during the second term of 2016, review recommendations of past task forces on student unrest, review implementation status and propose methodology of effecting the balance of proposals as well as audit existing school safety and security regulations and systems and make recommendations on stricter measures to ensure high standards of discipline in schools.

Meanwhile, KNUT Deputy Secretary General Hesbon Otieno has said that the recent wave of destruction in schools is politically motivated.

Speaking on Saturday at Nambamboto Village in Busia County during the home coming party of KNUT executive secretary general Busia branch, Mark Oseno, Mr Otieno said that the rampant cases of school fires have nothing to do with schools policies.

“I want to tell the Cabinet Secretary for Education, Dr Fred Matiang’i, that the problem of schools unrest is politically motivated and is not due to matters of policy,” he said.

According to Otieno, political wrangles in the Education Ministry are to blame for the unrest, adding that the CS should not victimise school heads but investigate the incidents.

The school unrest has so far seen close to 100 schools closed down.

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