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Student unrest continues unabated

By John Oywa and Eric Abuga | Published Thu, July 12th 2018 at 00:00, Updated July 11th 2018 at 20:45 GMT +3
Fire guts down a dormitory at Kisii High School. [Sammy Omingo, Standard]

Secondary school students across Nyanza continued to destroy property despite a security crackdown that saw some learners arrested.

Parents are now staring at huge bills to reconstruct and replace destroyed property.

As police threw more suspects into cells and tightened security, students torched a dormitory at Kisii High School on Tuesday.

Eight students were arrested after their images and activities were captured on CCTV cameras. The school was later closed.

County Police Coordinator Harry Abdi said they were carrying out further investigation to establish whether some staff were involved.

"All those involved will face the full force of the law. We will not entertain such characters in schools," said Abdi.

Locked up

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The eight were locked up at Kisii Central Police Station and could appear in court today.

More than 120 students were affected in the inferno that gutted the dormitory.

By yesterday, 17 schools had been closed in the region, amidst heightened tension.

Police had arrested 47 students linked to the incidents coming only three months to the national examinations. Of those arrested were Nyakeyo students who faced charges of burning houses belonging to a villager who they accused of being a witch.

The mayhem did not stop even after Education CS Amina Mohammed and Kenya National Examination Council chairman George Magoha warned against continued student unrest.

Postpone exams

Prof Magoha had said indiscipline by students would not make them postpone examinations.

Meanwhile, Kisumu Girls School parents are preparing to go to court to overturn a decision by the institution that each pays Sh5,000 for repairs.

They argue that with 1,500 students, the school will collect Sh7.5 million, which will be too much.

In Kisumu alone, six schools have been closed, according to County Director of Education Sabina Aroni. Parents who spoke to The Standard blamed the student unrest on indiscipline and peer influence.

Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association Lake Region chairman Andrew Gesora blamed the unrest on a disconnect between administrators and learners.

"I also think the riots have something to do with the World Cup in Russia. Students are causing unrest so they can go home to watch the games," said Gesora. 

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