Kenya: Fahrenheit 451 – Kenya’s Bizarre School Fires Epidemic

It’s been a winter of discontent in Kenya, with more than 120 schools ablaze in a seemingly uncontrollable epidemic of arson attacks. But who’s lighting the fires, and why? By NJERI KIMANI.

It began last month in Itierio Boys High School, in western Kenya, when students were told they would not be allowed to watch the Euro 2016 match between Portugal and Croatia. They weren’t happy. In protest, the students torched their dormitories – in the process igniting a wave of copycat school fires across Kenya.

More than 120 schools have been burnt in the past month. The fires are usually set at night, during evening prep, and have mostly targeted student dormitories. No students have yet been hurt, although at least 150 students have been arrested and charged with arson.

At the centre of the inferno stands Fred Matiangi, secretary for education in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s cabinet. It’s his job to put these fires out, but he is also accused of causing them with his harsh new policies aimed at eliminating cheating.

Last year, national exam papers were leaked on social media days before pupils were due to sit for them. The results for 2,709 primary school students, and…

Source: Daily Maverick.