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School that collapsed killing 8 children in Nairobi closed, learners relocated

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha (pictured) on Thursday said the school failed to comply with the registration requirement, by admitting 900 learners from the 340 it was listed to accommodate/CFM – MOSES MUOKI

NAIROBI, Kenya Sep 26 – Precious Talents Top Academy is among three schools which have been closed by the government following the collapse of a classroom on Monday that killed eight pupils and injured over 60 others.

While addressing the media on Thursday, Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha said the school failed to comply with registration requirements, by admitting 900 learners, way above the 340 it was listed to accommodate.

“The high enrollment and lack of adequate safe physical facilities coupled with non- compliance to other standards like qualified teaching staff, sanitation facilities and failure to follow the registration requirement has rendered the school’s available certificate null and void. We have also proceeded further and in its condition do not warrant continued existence of the school and thus recommended for its revocation and closure,” said Magoha.

The pupils will now be transferred to Ngong Forest School, Jamuhuri Primary Schools and Riruta Primary School.

“I visited Ngong Forest Primary school and I can assure you it has amazing structures. I do not know why parents chose to take their schools to such schools and the Ngong forest one has enough capacity. We will give the school 480 pupils, 180 will be given to Jamuhuri Primary school and Riruta Primary will be given 130. The ministry to provide textbooks and desks for the additional learners,” he said.

The CS revoked the registration of St Catherine Bombolulu Primary School in Kibra and directed the immediate closure of Pama Academy in Kangemi. The schools’ registration certificates were revoked for having weak structures.

He pointed that the ministry will continue assessing all the private schools not only in Nairobi County but all over the country to ensure they comply with the required standards and if not, the government will not hesitate to close the non-compliant ones.

The CS further assured that the two Precious Talents Top Academy pupils who were still admitted at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) are recuperating well and one will be discharged on Friday.

Eights pupils died on Monday, Precious Top Talents school collapsed in Kawangware, Dagoretti South constituency.

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Sixty-seven more pupils with minor injuries were taken to hospital and later discharged.

On Wednesday, Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko suspended 16 officials among them County Executive Committee (CEC) Member for Finance, Charles Kerich, who was in July assigned oversight responsibilities over cabinet colleagues, following the Precious Talents School tragedy.

The Governor in an earlier statement linked the tragedy to flouting of physical planning regulations and impunity that he said was spearheaded by some rogue officials within the county’s planning department.

“I commissioned comprehensive systems audit that exposed the activities of rogue officials within my administration, who have been flouting the Physical Planning Act and zoning regulations with impunity, while running an extortion ring to provide building approvals that do not meet the set standards,” stated Governor Sonko.

In a statement, Sonko said the suspension is necessary so as to allow for impartial investigations in a quest to ensure justice is served to the affected families.

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