, NAIROBI, Kenya, July 24 – The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Secretary General Wilson Sossion says the Ministry of Education should close schools one week early to stem the rising cases of arson in public institutions across the country.
While maintaining that the arson cases were as a result of change in term dates, Sossion pointed out that students are fatigued and explained that the fires in schools indicated they were stressed.
He told Capital FM News that if this does not happen, the union will ask its members to close schools to save the institutions.
“If he doesn’t close schools we will ask our members to close schools to save the institutions. These children must be given a break if we are to save schools. There is a lot of tension and it is wrong to continue keeping them in schools much longer,” he said.
He further stated that the period of time will allow the ministry organise itself and for students to come back to a fresh start.
“Three weeks are enough to allow the ministry organise itself and for students to come back fresh.
The Ministry of Education had extended the second term and directed that schools should close on August 12.
Sossion’s sentiments come in the wake of the latest incident where eight students from Sunshine Secondary School in Nairobi were detained at Lang’ata Police station after they were arrested Friday night for attempting to burn their dormitory.
Lang’ata police chief Elijah Maina said that the students are under investigations and “are likely to face charges on Monday.”
Police have intensified a crackdown on arson cases in schools after President Uhuru Kenyatta warned students against burning schools and destroying property as the number of institutions affected hit 100.
The Head of State said action will be taken on anyone found engaging in such activities because it is affecting the education sector.
Police reports show 99 students and five teachers have been charged in the past three months for engaging in arson attacks reported in almost all counties.
Principals and school heads were also given the leeway to shut down institutions should they detect arson plans so as to avert a crisis that puts lives at risk.