The country has witnessed cases of arson in several secondary schools during this Term in the Schools’ Calendar. The fire outbreaks have caused destruction of property and loss of huge amounts of resources in the schools. On 27th June, 2016 I conducted an inspection of some of the schools involved, held conversations with relevant stakeholders and got a first-hand feel from the education officials on the ground on the situation in the schools for schools in Kisii and Kericho counties. The Cabinet Secretary was accompanied by Dr. Richard Belio Kipsang, Principal Secretary, State Department of Basic Education and Ms. Nancy Macharia, Chief Executive Officer and Secretary to the Teachers’ Service Commission (TSC).

During the inspection trip, several meetings were held with a host of key stakeholders

including Members of Parliament, Boards of Management, Head Teachers and parents in the schools.

It is unfortunate that this trend has become almost a culture which must, however, be eliminated. The Government set up Task forces in 2001 and 2008 to enquire into the causes of student unrests and made recommendations which it continues to progressively implement. The latest efforts to address the problem was done at a congregation of stakeholders chaired by the then Cabinet Secretary Prof. Jacob Kaimenyi at Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) on 30th July, 2015, to discuss the same I would like to assure our stakeholders that the Ministry, in conjunction with relevant organs of government, is addressing the unrests. Investigations are on-going to nap the culprits.

Following these developments, I have directed as follows:

A. That Boards of Management (BOMs) hold meetings in schools within the next 7 days to assure learners of their safety and listen, to grievances the students could be having.

B. That BOMs in affected schools to carry out thorough investigations and ensure

that those found culpable face appropriate legal action including those who are

under 18 years of age be prosecuted in juvenile courts.

C. That no government resources will be used in repairing or restoring schools

burned down by students. The cost of repairs and restoration of damaged school

property be met by parents of the affected schools.

D. That transfer of students from one school to another shall be sanctioned by the

Sub-County Director of Education; this applies to public or private schools. Clearance for transfer will only be granted by Principals after the affected students would have cleared all fees, fines or losses incurred by students in their current schools.

Further, parents are assured of the safety of their children in schools, even though they exercise their parental responsibility accordingly.

All stakeholders ensure that schools enjoy conducive teaching and learning environments and avoid all activities that may derail the smooth management of schools.

The government will continue to provide capacity development of school managers to manage disasters and emergencies whenever they occur.

Fred Matiang’i, PhD, EGH


June 29th 2016