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Pemwai School closed after students protest death of colleague

Students from Pemwai Girls trekked 10km from their school to Kabarnet town expressing their grievances for the death of a student alleged to have died due to school negligence. [Yvonne Cheokwony, Standard]

Pemwai Secondary School in Baringo Central has been closed indefinitely after students rioted to protest the death of their colleague.

The Form Two student, identified as Faith Chelimo Karoney, died at the school on Sunday morning before the school was closed on Wednesday.

On Monday morning, the protesting students trekked to Kabarnet town to protest the death of Karoney, who hails from Mosoriot town in Nandi County.

The student is said to have been ailing for two weeks before her death.

The students accused the school's management of failing to take Karoney to the hospital even after they were informed that she was unwell.

Following the incident, Form Three students reportedly refused to sit their exams saying they were not at peace and were not prepared emotionally to take the tests while the body of their colleague lay in the morgue.

Karoney is said to have been nose bleeding and complained of a severe headache. She is also said to have been vomiting blood and when her case was reported to the school's management, all the school nurse gave her were painkillers.

Armed security officers were deployed at the school to contain the rioting students before the decision to close down the institution was reached.

Reports indicated that the girls were protesting against the school administration which they accused of laxity in attending to the student who is said to have been sick at school for a while. 

On Tuesday armed security officers were said to have manned the school and patrolled as a measure to contain unrest among students.

On Wednesday morning the school closed indefinitely and vehicles ordered to ferry students home, with strict instruction from police officers.

“We were forced out of school in phases under strict instructions to clear within two hours, with heavy security, Form Threes were released first, then Form Fours, followed by Form Ones leaving behind the affected class in school as they prepare to attend the burial which is set for Saturday,” said an anonymous student.

A Form Four student lamented that the school should have left them behind to prepare for the KCSE exams which are set to commence in a week’s time.

“The girl foresaw her death, on Saturday while in pain, Karoney sang and gave a verse hinting to them that it was her last time, shortly, her situation worsened, we believed she died at the school dispensary,” she said.

The school management will communicate later to the parents on the reopening day.

Our efforts to get commences from the school principal Lornah Tuitoek was in vain as she hung up the call after we introduced ourselves.