By Staff Writer
The number of schools reporting incidents of arson is on the rise as education stakeholders scratch their heads on how to handle the sorry trend. This article takes a look at the principals of these institutions and what might have triggered the fires.
Buruburu Girls High School-Nairobi
Videos of trapped Buruburu students jumping from their multi-storied smoke engulfed dormitory through windows shocked the nation. The school principal Mrs Caroline Maina had held a counselling session with form one and two students for a couple of hours only to be informed later that one of the dorms had been set on fire:
“I had a baraza with form one and form two from morning until around 2:30 pm where I had even invited counsellors to talk to the students. It is after the counselling session that I invited my guests for late lunch. As I was walking back , a teacher approached me notifying me that one of the dormitories was on fire”, she said.
Two students have been arraigned in court over the fire. 59 students were hospitalised after the incident.
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Maranda High School-Bondo sub-county, Siaya County
The current chief principal of the top performing national school is Edwin Namachanja. A dorm housing 200 students was set on fire on October 7 prompting the school management to close the school indefinitely.
A text informing parents of the decision to send their children home read:
“This is to inform you that the school has been closed indefinitely, and the boys released to go home”
Kakamega High School
The current principal of Kakamega is Mr Gerald Orina. Known as a sports powerhouse, it came as a shock when two dormitories housing 584 students were razed on October 6. The institution has been indefinitely closed and 16 students have been arrested to assist in investigations.
Chavakali Boys High School-Vihiga county
The current principal of the national school is Mr John Kuira. The students first set a dorm on fire and days later smashed the institution windows prompting the school management to send them home.
“They have smashed all the windows. This incident follows a fire outbreak at the dormitory on Sunday,” the principal told the media.
Kanjuri High School-Nyeri’s Mathira East sub-county
The current principal of Kanjuri High School is Mr James Kuria Karanja. The boys only school went on the rampage setting one dormitory on fire on October 29 demanding for a mid-term break. Mathira East police boss James Baraza told the media that the students had asked for the midterm break but the school management declined since it was not in the term calendar provided by the Ministry of Education (MoE).
Other institutions that have been set on fire include:
Mwala Girls Secondary-dorm was set on fire.
Muhoho High School-Gatundu South, Kiambu County
The school went on the rampage on Nov 4 smashing windows and threatening to pull down the institution fence. According to a parent who talked to K24 Digital, the students claimed,
“that all the schools in their neighbourhood had gone on strike and that they would not be left behind”
Irate students destroyed the school bus, principal office and classroom window panes.
Kipsigis Girls High in Kericho County
Students walked out of the institution after their principal Juliana Kirui was replaced by Moi Girls Eldoret Mrs Christine Chumba. The school was closed indefinitely.