Parents, pupils of Mlolongo Primary protest over cracked building

Parents and pupils of Mlolongo Primary school in Athi River sub-county of Machakos on Friday morning staged protests over the school’s cracked walls.

This followed an incident on Thursday when the school was temporarily closed for the day after major cracks emerged on some of the classrooms which posed danger to the more than 1, 500 pupils and teachers.

Police were forced to use tear gas canisters to disperse the crowd which engaged them in running battles, including hurling of stones temporarily paralyzing transport along the busy Nairobi-Mombasa highway.

Parents want to go home with their children but demand to be told the final decision by the school’s administration. We cannot let our children learn in such insecure classes, said Felix Owino.

The parents claimed that the engineers and contractors who constructed the single-floor building had been dodging them.

Reliable sources within the school told KNA that the school administration was engrossed in a crisis meeting for the better part of the day.

The meeting was attended by officers from the Sub-County regional administration offices and the Ministry of Education, PTA representatives, members of the area security committee among other key government officials.

The cracked building was set up in 2013 and houses 23 classrooms, the head teacher’s office, two offices of the deputy head teachers, a staff room, a hall and washrooms.

The parents are now calling on the government to move with haste and assist the school with 200 of its students expected to be sitting for their KCPE this year.

According to a teacher who requested anonymity, students in class seven which is situated on the ground floor spotted the cracks while learning and raised the alarm.

Teachers and other staff workers scampered for safety Thursday morning as the pupils were evacuated and sent home.

The school, which is reportedly the only public school in Mlolongo town, is situated along the busy Nairobi-Mombasa highway overlooking the fly-over and has learners from nursery to class eight.

Source: Kenya News Agency