A section of parents in Murang’a County have expressed concern over a wave of unrest in schools that has led to destruction of property and disruption of learning.
Some of the parents who spoke to KNA were deeply disappointed by their children’s actions noting they (parents) were held responsible for the cost of rebuilding the damaged property.
One of the parents, Grace Njoki, stated that their children claimed that the incidents were the result of too much pressure to make up for time lost following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic that led to closure of schools for several months in 2020.
“It is so unfortunate that we send our children to school to learn only to have them sent home for indiscipline,” Njoki said, adding that it was extremely tasking for parents to bear the cost of replacing the destroyed property.
Twelve schools in Murang’a County have been affected in the past two weeks with the latest occurrences being in Kiaguthu Boys’ and Kahuhia Girls’ high schools.
A form two student at Kahuhia Girls explained that peer pressure is the main cause of incidents in schools, claiming that they were being overwhelmed by the super speed with which teachers covered the syllabus, while extracurricular activities like drama, music, and sports, which helped them refresh their brains, have been eliminated due to Covid 19.
“Once we get information that another school has gone on strike or has been set on fire, we also feel the urge to do the same with the intention of being sent home just to get a breather,” she claimed.
Simon Kimani, also a parent from Kahuhia Girls expressed distress since he doesn’t know when her daughter would resume schooling and how much they would be charged for the damages.
“It is painful for us parents to experience these kinds of damages during these tough times. We would like investigations to be conducted quickly enough and all the culprits be expelled from school and let the rest to learn,” he stated, noting that some parents were also to blame as they have left all the parenting work to the teachers.
Kimani identified counseling in schools as one way to curb the tension and also a channel for the students to raise their grievances with the administration and parents.
Meanwhile, Education Cabinet Secretary, Prof George Magoha, is blaming parents saying that they have failed in their roles, stating that the government would not invest any money to rebuild the damaged property.
“I continue to castigate our parents who still continue to treat their children as ‘eggs’, and those students that are bold enough to torch a dormitory or school property. First of all, their parents will rebuild the buildings and the government will not pay a single penny,” Prof Magoha stated.
The Ministry of Education has directed all primary and secondary schools to proceed on a three-day half term break beginning Friday, November 19 in a bid to address the unrest.
By Joseph Kiguta and Justine Nafula