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Unease as Moi Girls’ reopens

By Stephen Rutto | February 23rd 2021
Police officers keep guard as Moi Girls High School students protest demanding the removal of their principal. [File, Standard]

Students of Moi Girls’ High School Eldoret are expected back today, a week after the institution was closed following a protest by the learners over a litany of complaints.

The school was closed last Wednesday after agitated students demanded the removal of Principal Christine Chumba.

A new battlefront has also emerged, with a section of parents now pointing fingers at what they termed as “bogus Parents Association members” and an indifferent administration.

“Some years ago, the school library was condemned and has not been replaced to date. We still don’t have answers on why a national school is operating without a library yet it is building a large dining hall,” a parent who sought anonymity for fear of victimisation told The Standard.

“We have PA officials who are no longer parents but they are still holding powerful positions. We have sought answers on why a parent whose student completed school in 2019 is still a PA chairman. This is against the Basic Education Act, which stipulates that a PA official must be a parent of the school,” said another parent.

PA chairman John Changach and his treasurer Emmy Rugut are still in control of the Sh13 million annual fund despite claims that their daughters left the school in 2019.

According to the Education Act 2013, only parents with children in a school qualify to be members of PA.

31-point petition

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“Six of us are representing parents in the school and we will exit when a new board is constituted. We are not clinging to power and we hope a new board will be in place soon,” said Changach.

Rugut also said she was ready to hand over to a new team of board members.

An ad hoc committee established to address the students’ 31-point petition against Chumba is yet to address some of the issues raised.

“The ad hoc committee is yet to deliberate most of the issues and it will be premature for me to discuss them with the media,” said chairperson of the team Victoria Chebseba.

Chebseba, a lawyer, described the issues affecting the school as sensitive.

When contacted, Uasin Gishu County Director of Education Gitonga Mbaka said all the issues raised by parents and their students will be addressed after a meeting by stakeholders.

The students had accused Chumba of high-handedness and harassment of learners, teachers, and support staff, among other issues. Some parents yesterday asked Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha to directly intervene to return normalcy in the iconic national school.

By yesterday, Chumba appeared to be still in control.

In a letter to all parents, the embattled principal set tough conditions for the readmission of students from today.

She indicated that Form Four students will report to the school today followed by Form Ones, Twos, and Threes tomorrow, Thursday and Friday, respectively.

Since Wednesday, Chumba has neither confirmed nor denied the issues raised by the students and parents.

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