NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 19 – Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i says a special investigation team will be formed to probe increasing cases of arson in public schools across the country.
Speaking before the Senate Education Committee on Tuesday, Matiang’i stated that the team will comprise stakeholders from the Education Ministry, police and the Teachers Service Commission.
“We have put together a special investigation team because this year, we want each of these arson cases to be comprehensively investigated, prosecutions to happen and punishments to ensue,” he said.
“This is because in the past this has not happened. People have gone scot free having committed crimes caused us losses and sometimes even lives.”
Matiang’i pointed out that the team will be tasked with investigating the root cause of the arson cases and deal decisively with the culprits.
“Once that is done, we will bring a bit more responsibility and sanity in those who are doing this and TSC is ready to also act. Where they find teachers who are involved in incitement, who are involved in these cases, they will face the full force of the law from the law enforcement side but they will also face disciplinary action as it were and that will also bring about a sense of responsibility,” he explained.
His announcement came after a revelation that many of those implicated in previous arson cases have gone scot free.
“Between 2007 and today as we sit here, we have had over 317 fires in the country. Cases of arson in schools. We do not even have 20 successful prosecutions including in very serious cases. Look at Nyeri High school where prefects were burnt, we do not have successful prosecutions because arson is a crime,” he stated.
The Ministry of Education is further mulling the introduction of a system which will track learners from the day they commence their education until the time they finish to minimize chances of radicalisation or dropping out of school.
Matiang’i revealed that each student will be given a number which will be used to identify them at every level of learning.
He stated that the initiative is meant to track down the whereabouts of each student and will aid the Education Ministry to plan their resources accordingly.
“God willing, we should be having every learner in Kenya having a Learner Number. That is the registration number, what they use as an index number to do their examinations and that is the registration number at the university,” he indicated.
“So you can trace this child from pre-unit to PhD as it were. It will help us with the management of resources and the way we share information and even the distribution of teachers.”
The Education CS stated that the initiative which is in its preliminary stages will also help the ministry share information with other sectors.