Widespread unrest in schools a serious wake-up call to ministry

Reports of fresh arson attacks in schools across the country are a chilling reminder of how indiscipline in schools can be obstinate and erratic. The latest findings have not only sent chills down the spines of teachers but also left frustrated parents and education stakeholders desperately searching for answers.

Just-released national police statistics on school unrest show that on average, students have been destroying property in at least two institutions every day since July 1, 2019. Between that date and now, 42 cases have been reported.

Counties in Central region, according to the report, are leading in school unrest followed by Machakos and Kitui. The incidents, police say, range from burning of dormitories to breaking out of schools and destroying private property.

At Katheka High School in Machakos, students set a dorm on fire leading to near-fatal injury of four girls. At Gaichanjiru High in Murang’a, rowdy learners went bananas and stoned buildings. At the end of it all, three students were arrested by the police and are cooling their heels in custody. It will be remembered that last year, students of Ambira Boys High were captured on video insulting two cabinet secretaries. There have been extreme cases of some engaging in alcoholism, sex orgies and bullying of their colleagues.  

SEE ALSO :Masinde Muliro varsity closed indefinitely after students unrest

We believe this is the time to act. This wave, if allowed to continue, will entrench lawlessness in a generation on whose hands the destiny of this county rests. The root cause of this trend should be addressed in a process that brings everyone on board. We shouldn’t leave school administrations to their own devices.

Every parent and guardian should henceforth take an even more proactive role in shaping behaviours of their children. Guidance and counselling should be taken more seriously and students made part and parcel of school management. We challenge Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha and his team to succeed where their predecessors may have failed. Inaction and reactionary measures deployed only when crisis strikes should be a thing of the past. As the widely held saying goes, prevention is better than cure.

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