Kenya: Schoolgirls in Kangema Go On Strike Again

Learning was yesterday disrupted at Kibutha Girls Secondary School in Kangema after students went on the rampage and razed a store, kitchen and part of a dining hall.

It was not immediately clear what caused the unrest. Property of unknown value including maize and beans were destroyed by the fire. The incident took place in the morning but there were no reports of injuries. Efforts by the Star to get comments from the school administration were unsuccessful. Principal Lillian Muhuni remained quiet over the matter and accused the media of dueling the strike.

Sources in the school said the students started the rampage but no one has been arrested in connection with the arson. The incident comes in the wake of several strikes in in the area with over 10 schools going on the rampage. On Wednesday, Njumbi Secondary School in Mathioya went on strike. The student attempted to raze a dormitory but the fire was contained. The unrest started at Rwathia Girls’ Secondary School where students demanded to be allowed to wear mini-skirts to school.

Others include Iyego, Kanyenyaini ,Kiruri, Dr Kiano, Weithaga Boys, Gitweku Girls, Koimbi Boys, Kianderi Girls and Karuri Gakure secondary schools. Kangema DC Fredrick Muli condemned the rising cases of unrest in schools adding that legal action will be taken against the students planning the strikes. Muli blamed the strikes on peer influence.

The DC said they are also investigating suspicious characters behind the schools unrests in the region. “It is worrying that the wave of unrest in schools is spreading so fast in this region but we are following crucial leads to get to the root cause of the problem,” he added. He said his administration will not condone destruction of property in schools.

He said he has also held several meeting with the District Security Committee and education stakeholders to deliberate on the issue and look for a solution. “The burning down of school buildings has became a security threat and I have directed the school administrations and the administration police to arrest those behind the strikes,”he added.

Muli added that most of the students who have gone on strikes have complained of highhardness by the teachers while others complained of poor quality food. He added that he suspects that mock fever was the root cause of the strikes where many of them have been started by form four students. The DC said in a span of one month there has been a problem in schools as students copies their neighbouring schools who have been reportedly gone on strike.
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