NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – The special investigation committee set up to probe arson in schools has been given 30 days to submit a report on the incidents which are raising serious concern.
A statement signed by Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i and his Interior Ministry counterpart Joseph Nkaissery indicated that the report should clearly outline measures to reduce cases of unrest.
It pointed out that individuals responsible for school fires should also be identified and the measures taken to either prosecute or surcharge them explained.
“The government is concerned about the ongoing cases of school unrest in some parts of the country. Although the scales of the unrest in 2016 is still lower than previous years, it has been noted that the situation appears to mirror previous years in which school strikes happen every second term of the school calendar,” it stated.
The committee is expected to probe all cases of school fires during the second term of 2016 as well as review recommendations of previous task forces on school unrest.
“Consequently, after extensive consultations, we have formed an eight person special investigations team drawing membership from the two ministries with the mandate to vigorously comb the areas affected by school unrest,” it pointed out.
Members of the committee include the Secretary of Administration in the Office of the President Claire Omolo, Assistant Inspector General of Police Lillian Muli, Assistant Inspector General Criminal Investigations Department Patrick Mugo and Senior Assistant Director in the Education Ministry Charles Khanyira.
Others are James Kairu who is a Senior Assistant Director in the Education Ministry, the Teachers Service Commission Senior Deputy Director Loise Nyaseda, an Educationist Gracie MK. Mullei and Lt Colonel (Rtd) F.C. Mugambi.
The team is also supposed to audit existing school safety and security regulations and make recommendations on strict measures to maintain a high standard of discipline.
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.
The formation of the team came after a revelation that many of those been implicated in previous arson cases have gone scot free.
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 minimise chances of radicalisation or dropping out of school.