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Eldoro Girls’ parents protest over Sh6m charges for dormitory fire

EDUCATION
By Renson Mnyamwezi | November 22nd 2021
The school’s board of management ruled that each parent will part with Sh6,283 to cater for the damages. [Courtesy]

Parents at Eldoro Girls High School in Taita Taveta will have to dig deep into their pockets to pay for damages after a fire incident in the school.  

The parents will pay a total of Sh6.2 million for damages after a fire, that was linked to the students, razed down a dormitory.

The school’s board of management met and resolved that each parent would part with Sh6,283 to cater for the damages.

The school, with about 1,000 students, was closed indefinitely following the fire incident. 

Timbila Boys High School in Taveta was also among the schools closed after students rioted and destroyed property of unknown value.

Apart from paying for the damages, the board also ordered parents to clear fee arrears before their children are allowed back to school.

However, some of the parents are not happy with the board’s decision, claiming that the charges to cater for the damage caused by the fire are unreasonable.

Lewis Mzae, a parent, told The Standard that the fire destroyed a small portion of the dorm and the imposed charges were too high.

“The school management asked us to clear outstanding fee balances, which we obliged. However, we were shocked to receive another message, demanding that we cater for the damages at a very high cost,” Mzae said. 

He said majority of students may be forced to stay at home because parents cannot afford to pay extra costs.

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha had warned parents that they would pay for any damages in schools caused by their children. 

The CS’s warning came as the Ministry of Education offered a mid-term break to arrest unrest in schools.

But education players protested against the government’s move, saying it was not enough to address the unrest in learning institutions.

Taveta Deputy County Commissioner Joseph Mericho said part of the Eldoro Girls High School dorm, which houses about 500 students, was reduced to ashes.

“The big dormitory houses about 500 students and is divided into several cubicles which accommodate 50 students each. One of the dormitories caught fire while students were on morning preps,” said Mericho.

Mr Mericho, who is also the chairman of the sub-county security committee, said a contingent of police officers, firefighters from the county government, residents, teachers and parents combined effort to put out the fire.

“DCI officers are still investigating the incident. Investigators are piecing together information to help unravel the circumstances under which the fire occurred,” said the administrator.

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