Lenana, Jamhuri join striking schools

July 21, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, July 21 – Students at Lenana, Jamhuri and St Thomas Aquinas added their schools to the growing list of secondary institutions on strike despite a warning by the Education Minister on Sunday that such action would not be tolerated.

Lenana boys started their protests Monday morning, joining over 300 schools in the country where student unrest has broken out.

Form four students however refused to join their colleagues in lower classes in the protests and proceeded to sit for their mock examinations.

But some Form one and two students claimed that they had been told to strike by their form four seniors and threatened of dire consequences if they failed to do so.

After their exams, the seniors were to search for any student who did not join in the protests and punish them.

Jamhuri High School form four students were sent home after they refused to sit for the mock examinations.
On Sunday night, at St Thomas Aquinas, students burnt down a dormitory destroying property estimated to be worth Sh1 million.

The school, based in Nairobi’s Makadara estate, was closed indefinitely.

The protest came as the Government woke up to the reality of just how bad the student riots were.

Education Minister Sam Ongeri, who is supposed to give a ministerial statement in Parliament on Wednesday, chaired a Sunday crisis meeting with key players in the sector.

During the meeting, Internal Security Minister George Saitoti blamed the protests on drug abuse.

But the National Coordinator for the State-run Anti-Drug campaign told Capital News that drugs alone were not to blame.

National Agency for Campaign Against Drug Abuse Authority (NACADA) Board Chairman Dr Frank Njenga said the cause of the unrest could be traced to factors at home, in schools and the community.

“The structure of our society in the last year has been one that has created an environment in which this precise problem was ready to explode,” he said.

“We as parents have allowed our children to view dispute resolution as something that occurs outside the rule book,” Dr Njenga concluded.


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