School heads want police to increase patrols to curb riots

Secondary school principals from Murang’a County have requested police to increase patrols within learning institutions in an effort to curb riots.

The principals, who met education officers and county security team on Tuesday in Murang’a town, expressed their concerns that delay by police to act on their distress calls have led arson in some schools.

The teachers also blamed education officers for failing to implement policies which may see end of school rampage, saying some of the measures being taken to curtail the riots are outdated.

The meeting was organized after three schools in the county lost property worth millions of shillings after dormitories and other school buildings were set on fire.

On Saturday, two schools, Murang’a High School and Dr. Kiano secondary lost property through fire tragedies believed to have been occasioned by students.

On Monday evening, St. Paul’s Gathuki-ini Boys school was closed indefinitely after students burnt two dormitories.

In a meeting that was chaired by Central Regional education coordinator Mr. Stephen Barongo and Murang’a county commissioner Mr. John Elung’ata, the school principals demanded the education ministry employ new measures which will stop school riots.

Some principals wanted students accused of leading riots to be barred from transferring to other schools, while calling for the culprits to be contained in approved schools.

Barongo, while responding to the teachers directed principals to take full charge of their institutions from their deputies.

He divulged that only schools from Murang’a County have experienced challenges leading to fires and students walk outs in the region.

The coordinator directed heads of learning institutions to fix suggestion boxes to enhance communication with their students to avoid ugly incidents.

In one of the schools, the students asked for increased food ration before they went on strike. That could have been contained if there were proper communication systems, said Barongo.

On his part, Elung’ata asked the heads to fully interact with security officers near their schools as he promised to ensure surveillance in the institutions was increased.

Some of the heads have no contact with the local security officers including their chiefs, he said.

Murang’a county director of education Ms Victoria Mulili said some of the principals had little information on what was happening in the school compound because they remained in their offices most of the time.

After this meeting we will take walks in our schools and be conducting regular meetings with teachers and students and enhance communication channels, said Mulili.

Murang’a TSC Director Ms. Jane Njagi said some principals have overloaded their deputies with responsibilities and in the process lost contact with students.

She added that some deputies had also overstepped their mandate by sending students out of school without knowledge of the principals.

In case the head wishes to be out of school, local education and TSC offices must be notified without delay, added Njagi.

Source: Kenya News Agency