Form One stu­dents back af­ter school fire tragedy

A sec­tion of par­ents claim the school could have waited for con­clu­sion of the case be­fore read­mit­ting the four girls al­legedly linked to the fire

Daily Nation (Kenya) - - NATIONAL NEWS - BY PAULINE KAIRU pkairu@ke.na­tion­media.com AND BARACK ODUOR

Asec­tion of par­ents at Moi Girls School, Nairobi, yes­ter­day asked why four girls said to have been part of the plot to burn the school have been al­lowed back to the in­sti­tu­tion.

The par­ents spoke as Form One stu­dents re­ported back to the school yes­ter­day.

The stu­dents un­der­went coun­selling within the school be­fore be­ing re-ad­mit­ted.

The burnt Kabar­net dor­mi­tory has been fenced off with iron sheets and the Form One stu­dents who pre­vi­ously used it have been moved into two halls and two Form One class­rooms. Ms Mary Mabwa, the mother of Chelsy Nyakoa, one of the girls who had been ad­mit­ted in hos­pi­tal for a week fol­low­ing the in­ci­dent, said her daugh­ter was still limp­ing but was ea­ger to re-unite with the rest of the girls.

“She has been un­der­go­ing coun­selling; other than the limp­ing she is fine. The school has also said the girls who were more ad­versely af­fected will con­tinue with coun­selling at the Keny­atta Na­tional Hos­pi­tal,” she said.

Ms Fri­dah Kaburu, another Form One par­ent, ex­pressed con­cern that four girls al­legedly linked to the burn­ing of the dor­mi­tory had been al­lowed to re­turn to the school.

“Why didn’t the school wait un­til the case is con­cluded be­fore re-ad­mit­ting these four girls?” she asked. She, how­ever, added that they had been as­sured se­cu­rity at the school has been beefed up.

Mean­while, the re­mains of one of the nine girls who per­ished in the fire three weeks ago were yes­ter­day laid to rest at her par­ents’ home in Homa Bay county.

Speak­ing at Ng’oche vil­lage in Rachuonyo North Sub-county, Homa Bay County, dur­ing the burial of Hawa Awuor Aziz, the head of par­ents at the school, Philip Onyango, and Karachuonyo MP Adipo Okuome blamed lax­ity on the part of the Ed­u­ca­tion min­istry for fre­quent fire out­breaks at learn­ing in­sti­tu­tions.

Be­com­ing a lawyer

“The Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion should act to pre­vent deaths from fre­quent school fires,” said Mr Onyango.

Mr Onyango also blamed poor par­ent­ing for the ar­son in­ci­dents in schools.

“Par­ent­ing of to­day is key to all of us. If we all brought up our chil­dren well, we would not have lost this young life,” said Mr Onyango.

Hawa’s teach­ers at Moi Girls School heaped praise on her, say­ing she was out­go­ing and loved cal­lig­ra­phy and art.

Ac­cord­ing to her teach­ers, she dreamt of be­com­ing a lawyer.

Her mother Judy Aziz de­scribed her daugh­ter as dili­gent, say­ing she was pas­sion­ate about study­ing lan­guages par­tic­u­larly Kiswahili.

“Of all my chil­dren, Hawa was the only one I had through cae­sar­ian sec­tion. You have left a per­ma­nent scar on me. I ex­pected to see you join a law school but all is in vain,” said Ms Aziz.

JEFF ANGOTE | NA­TION

Moi Girls School Nairobi Form One stu­dents (from left) Lau­reen Kerubo, Marissa Mutinda and Elsie Mully happy to be re­united at school yes­ter­day.

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