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School heads cautioned over radicalisation of youths

Explosive materials were found at a flat that also houses this institute in Eastleigh, Nairobi. Photo/FILE

Explosive materials were found at a flat that also houses this institute in Eastleigh, Nairobi. Photo/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 9 – The Ministry of Education has directed all school heads to investigate possible radicalisation of youths in their institutions.

In a circular released on Wednesday but dated March 3, Education Secretary Kiragu Wa Magochi issued 10 directives to combat possible radicalisation in education institutions.

“Concern has been expressed by sections of stakeholders that there could be increased radicalisation of youths in education institutions especially in primary and secondary schools,” he warned.

And apart from carrying out internal investigations, Wa Magochi recommended that the school heads regularly hold meetings to inculcate a sense of national pride in their wards.

“It must be noted that radicalisation in schools poses a security threat to the country,” he explained.

The school heads were also directed to keep a closer eye on and proper records in admissions, transfers, drop-outs and visitors to the schools.

“In case of transfers, the principals and head teachers must obtain a written report from the principals of the schools pupils are transferring from giving reasons for the transfer,” Wa Magochi directed.

In addition, they institutions are required to strengthen their guidance and counselling departments so the vulnerable among them do not fall prey to radical elements.

Wa Magochi also reiterated the requirement that all teachers should be registered by the Teachers Service Commission and all school outings should be supervised by a teacher.

In October 2013, immediately following the September terror attack on Westgate, a form three student was among those arrested on suspicion of involvement.

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“Principals and Head teachers through Boards of Management and the whole school community should be alert to any activities in the schools that could contribute to radicalisation and eventually ruin the future of students,” Wa Magochi encouraged.

On Sunday police launched a manhunt for a teacher from the Samad Islamic Institute in whose room they found materials used to make improvised explosives.

And one of the four gunmen believed to have orchestrated the Westgate terror attack is thought to have been enrolled at Gambella Primary School in 2010 as a class five pupil before his mother moved him back to Somalia where he was radicalised.


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