In­stal CCTVs in pub­lic schools ‘to pin­point stu­dent ar­son­ists’

MP ta­bles mo­tion say­ing if ar­son is left un­abated, the trend will turn dor­mi­to­ries in pub­lic board­ing sec­ondary schools to death traps for in­no­cent stu­dents

The Star (Kenya) - - Politics - SA­MUEL KISIKA @KisikaSam

The Ed­u­ca­tion min­istry might in­stall CCTVs in all pub­lic board­ing sec­ondary schools to help curb stu­dent un­rest and in­dis­ci­pline.

A mo­tion tabled in Par­lia­ment seeks to com­pel the govern­ment to in­stal cam­eras in strate­gic lo­ca­tions in the schools to beef up sur­veil­lance. It will be de­bated when MPs re­sume from re­cess on Oc­to­ber 4.

Kathi­ani MP Robert Mbui filed the mo­tion.

He said cases of ar­son in board­ing schools have been on the rise this year and most per­pe­tra­tors go un­pun­ished.

“If ar­son is left un­abated, this trend will turn dor­mi­to­ries in pub­lic board­ing sec­ondary schools to death traps for in­no­cent stu­dents and ex­pose school prop­erty to the risk of ar­bi­trary de­struc­tion by ri­otous stu­dents yet it is the govern­ment’s duty to pre­serve the lives of in­no­cent stu­dents and school prop­erty from the in­ces­sant threat of ar­son,” the mo­tion reads.

More than 100 schools were burnt through sus­pected ar­son this year. Six thou­sand stu­dents were sent home be­fore the end of sec­ond term and 15 head teach­ers are be­ing in­ves­ti­gated.

Ed­u­ca­tion CS Fred Ma­tiang’i and his In­te­rior coun­ter­part Joseph Nkaissery on July 20 formed an eight-mem­ber joint in­ves­ti­ga­tion team to find the cause of stu­dent un­rest.

The re­port is ex­pected this week. Mbui said stu­dents who trans­fer to other schools should be sub­jected to thor­ough screening be­fore ad­mis­sion.

“The govern­ment should roll out an en­hanced se­cu­rity mech­a­nism for sur­veil­lance of stu­dents’ ac­tiv­i­ties and make pro­vi­sions for reg­u­lar and manda­tory checks to con­firm com­pli­ance and en­force­ment of the mech­a­nism,” the mo­tion reads.

The Kathi­ani MP also wants the Ed­u­ca­tion min­istry to put in place strin­gent ad­mis­sion rules.

“The govern­ment should en­sure strict ad­mis­sion cri­te­ria are en­forced, in­clud­ing the main­te­nance of a pro­file of sus­pected per­pe­tra­tors of ar­son. This will en­sure they do not es­cape li­a­bil­ity by trans­fer­ring to other schools with­out proper screening,” the mo­tion reads.

Na­tional Assem­bly Speaker Justin Mu­turi will re­fer the mo­tion, if adopted by the House, to the Com­mit­tee on Im­ple­men­ta­tion chaired by Narok woman rep­re­sen­ta­tive Soipan Tuya.

The com­mit­tee will en­sure the Ed­u­ca­tion min­istry im­ple­ments the res­o­lu­tions.

/JOHN JAMENYA

Friends School Kigama stu­dents in Vi­higa county look at the re­mains of their be­long­ings after their dor­mi­tory was razed on Septem­ber 7

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