School Prefects, Teachers on Duty to answer on School Fires, CS Magoha

Prefects and teachers on duty will now be held accountable for fires reported in schools, Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha has said.

The CS also said on Saturday that the ministry has created a database where details of the crimes committed in schools and the culprits behind them are recorded for future reference, which will likely affect the employment chances of those named.

Prof Magoha said it is time teachers heightened vigilance in schools to avert cases of arson, many of which have taken place in schools in several parts of the country over the last few weeks.

He noted that once children turn eight, they can be held accountable for their crimes so their young age cannot be used as a defence.

“We shall hold the teacher and perfect on duty accountable when there are school fires. The children should know that this crime will haunt them for the rest of their lives,” he said in Kisumu County.

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) has warned all learners against criminal acts, saying they will result in permanent criminal records, which will feature on the Certificate of Good Conduct issued by police.

The crimes include violent demonstrations, arson, drug dealing, cyber bullying, assault of any degree and drunkenness.

Prof Magoha also reiterated that students cannot have sanitisers, used to ensure hand hygiene in the fight against Covid-19, in school as this was banned.

He asked teachers to frequently carry out inspections to ensure the directive is adhered to as the sanitisers are being used as alcohol and to start fires.

School desks

The CS spoke at Lions High School, where he met administrative officers from the sub-county to the regional levels.

He expressed his satisfaction with the process of delivering desks to primary and secondary schools under the Sh1.9 billion Economic Stimulus Programme

Schools are expected to receive a total of 625,000 desks.

Prof Magoha said the Nyanza region has achieved 100 percent distribution, having received 91,650 desks, lockers and chairs whose total cost ws Sh284.1 million.

Nyanza has 705 primary schools and 846 secondary schools.

“So far, more than Sh200 million has been paid to the artisans involved in fabrication and delivery, with the outstanding amount expected to be paid within the next one week.”

The Central region has achieved 97.84 percent, Western 95 percent and Nairobi 100 percent.

Other counties that have achieved 100 percent distribution are Uasin Gishu, Siaya, Murang’a, Vihiga, Kiambu, Migori, Homa Bay, Nyamira, Kisii. Kisumu Nyeri, West Pokot, Nandi and Mombasa.

Those that have achieved 90 percent distribution, with completion expected in a few days, are Kakamega, Bomet, Nyandarua, Machakos, Kwale, Bungoma, Kilifi and Busia.

Out of the Sh1.9 billion allocated to the programme, approximately Sh1.1 billion has been paid.

The outstanding payment is being processed following verification of the quality and quantities of desks delivered to schools.

“I urge all the remaining counties, whose delivery percentage is approaching 90 percent, to step up the distribution as we seek to complete the exercise and focus on effective learning and preparations for national examinations,” said Prof Magoha

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