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Send secondary students for early mid-term break

By Editorial | November 11th 2021
Property of unknown value burned at Lugusi Secondary School. [Jackline Inyanji, Standard]

More schools continue to be burnt as the wave of student unrest continues. By yesterday, two more schools in Vihiga and Murang’a counties were torched.

So far, about 40 schools have been burnt this term. Some of the dormitories being torched were built by parents through harambee many years ago. Others were built through CDF money. At the end of the day, however, it is the parents who will be required to build them again.

While we cannot direct the government on what to do, continued procrastination when every day another school dormitory is set on fire is a lot more injurious.

We believe sending secondary school students home for early mid-term break is the lesser evil while the government carries out investigations to determine the reasons for the arson.

This is not to say that we are unaware such action might be misconstrued to mean the government has given in to student blackmail. What is needed is a practical approach that could lead to a lasting solution. 

There are varied arguments on the cause of arson in schools. There are those who hold the view that subordinate staff or school administrations have a hand in the fires for ulterior motives. However, what remains crystal clear is that there are many rogue students in secondary schools that’s why the fires have become almost contagious.

We cannot sit back and watch as more schools are torched. We must take action now and not dither until more than 200 schools are burnt as happened in 2016.

Every school burnt is a blow, not only to the students who love education and who would want to remain in school but also to parents who must foot the bill to rebuild the dormitories.

We note that the students were scheduled to break for mid-term on November 19. Sending them home slightly over a week earlier will not do any harm.

If the government is not ready to send them home, then it should give the principals power to send students for mid-term if they get the slightest intelligence that they are up to any mischief.

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