Schools to remain open despite fires, DP Ruto, CS Matiang’i say


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The government will not bow to pressure to close down schools early following the spate of destruction of property in a series of arson attacks. Deputy President William Ruto and the Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i say the incidents have only affected less than one percent of the schools and should not be allowed to determine the fate of over nine thousand other schools.

This even as pressure piled from teachers unions and the opposition alliance CORD for government to suspend the school timetable.

The turmoil in more than one hundred schools has repeatedly been attributed to the handling of the Education Ministry by the CS Matiang’i. The reforms he has introduced coming to focus, and being criticized by CORD leader Raila Odinga and the opposition, with demands that the second term is ended prematurely to salvage more schools from joining the statistics.

“We will not cave in to any pressure. We will not close any school early, term dates will be followed to the logical conclusion,” said Matiang’i.

DP Ruto noted: “Those who believe all these monkey games in between will sway us, they don’t know whom they are dealing with. We will deal with the crooks keen at undermining our course.”

The two were speaking while they toured the Nairobi School.

But opposition leaders are demanding that the school fires be declared a national disaster and that the Cabinet Secretary be sacked from the docket and all of his changes reversed.

The Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) threatening to call for a national strike should the schools not be closed within the next one week.

Amidst the divide, education stakeholders, including the Clergy and school heads associations, held deliberations for hours, resolving to hold a national conference on September 23rd to discuss better ways of managing schools. The team also agreed to establish chaplaincy offices on all schools to provide spiritual and social assistance to students.

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