NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 23 – Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha on Monday ordered the closure of Precious Talent School in Dagoretti for four days to ensure safety measures are put in place following an incident where seven pupils died after a classroom wall collapsed.
Prof Magoha also announced that a multi-agency task-force had been established to the look into what led to the collapse of the classroom.
“In the meantime, we have asked learners to stay at their homes over the next four days as we put in place measures to ensure their safety of learning.”
Prof Magoha was speaking he visited the scene of the incident where he said that proprietor failed to adhere to the Ministry’s safety assurance tests.
“We have set up a multi-agency group comprising officials from the County Government, local leaders and ministries of Education, Interior and Coordination of National Government, and Health to work with the Kenya Red Cross to manage the situation. The Team will also conduct thorough investigations on the possible causes of the tragedy and submit a report to me for action,” he said.
The Education Cabinet Secretary assured Kenyans that the Ministry officials have been on high alert to inspect and ensure that people comply with the law.
“You have noticed that I have been to all the other classrooms and in my most humbled opinion, they are stable. If a spade must be called a spade ahead of the investigations, which you’re pushing me to say; you will notice that somebody went and built another storey on top of the temporary structure.”
“I think we should fair to each other including being fair to government; because if the owners of this school would have remained with the single-storey building this accident should not have occurred. If we were working in an ideal environment, they would have come to us for approvals which I guarantee, they would not have got,” Prof Magoha stated.
“I want to add by saying very firmly and categorically, that the children of Kenya are safe in schools and this single tragic incident should not be used by anyone to instill fear in both primary and secondary schools,” he emphasized.
The CS said the Precious Talent Primary School is duly registered with an enrollment of the 600 students.
Prof Magoha later visited 64 learners were receiving treatment at the Kenyatta National Hospital.
“Of these, 62 have soft tissue injuries while two require more attention. More than 600 learners underwent safety checks at the nearby St Mary’s Catholic Centre,” he told news reporters at the scene littered with smashed concrete and torn corrugated iron sheets.
The tough-talking CS further pledged that the government will ensure a public primary school is constructed in the area within the next four months.
Area residents led by Dagoreti South MP John Kiarie had appealed to the government to allocate a plot of land from the expansive Lenana School to construct a primary as they complained that the nearest public school is almost two kilometres away.
“If there is no public learning primary school the government will work towards establishing one. But the issue should not be the borders of the Ward. The issue should the proximity of the school to where the learners live. But since we are Kenyans and we like to over-dramatize issues, we commit as government to construct a primary school in Ngando Ward and we shall ensure that land is available by whatever means possible,” the CS stated.