KENYA: Church Calls for Tough Measures to End Arson in Schools

NAKURU JULY 22, 2016(CISA)-The Catholic Church in Kenya has called for tough measures to end the increased burning of schools in the country.

Addressing the media in Nakuru July 20, Bishop Maurice Muhatia, Chairman of The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) – Commission for Education and Religious Education said that the Church was concerned that “there was a third hand outside of the school community that is facilitating and inciting the burning of school facilities.”

“We appeal to the relevant government organs to thoroughly investigate and anyone found responsible to be held fully accountable,” said Bishop Muhatia of the Catholic Diocese of Nakuru.

He noted that the church “is convinced that the main causes of the burning of schools is not the new rules by the cabinet secretary” noting that “the rules that have been made to deal with indiscipline and criminal activities at the school level should be implemented to the letter without fear or favour.”

He appealed to the principals, teachers, boarding masters and mistresses and chaplains to be very strict with the supervision of all school facilities.

Bishop Muhatia further called on the school heads and administrators against communal consequences on innocent students due to strikes.

“The burning of schools is perpetuated by a few students and many children are innocent. We should find a mechanism to isolate perpetrators and avoid communal consequences by the actions of a few elements,” said Bishop Makumba.

According to the police, fire outbreaks has been reported in over 70 schools with the latest being Riosiri Mixed Secondary School in Gucha South sub-county where a dormitory was burnt.

On July 22, the government urged education stakeholders to ensure that conflicts in schools are solved within established mechanisms.If the Board of Governors or the principals feel that there is a possibility of arson in their institutions and that students can go home for three days or one week, they can close them down,” Capital FM news quoted Government Spokesman Eric Kiraithe as saying.

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