President Uhuru Kenyatta has slammed parents for mounting too much impractical pressure on their children to excel in exams, citing that as the reason students have resorted to destruction of school property and starting school fires.
In a statement late Friday, the president said some parents are so unrealistic that they expect their children to perform way beyond their capabilities.
The president added that some students, as a result, have come to think that the best way to release their frustrations is by burning dormitories. He advises parents who threaten their children never to come home unless they score, saying:
“A human being is not made by what grade he or she gets. Let us allow our children to work hard. Let us encourage them that irregardless of what grade you get, the important thing is that you did your best”.
As of July 28, over 100 schools had been torched in just two months.
The president made the statement at the joint graduation ceremony of two youth empowerment programs – Tujiajiri and Generation Kenya.
He also said they are dealing with the issue assuring that Kenyans cannot afford to let the energy and enterprise of the youth go to waste. Uhuru also promised that government will make sure that funds are set aside to support the youth so long as they stay on an academic or vocational path.
On the day of his speech on school fires, at least five incidents were reported. There were school fire incidents at Kaptama High School (in Bungoma county), Mikinduri Girls’ High School (Meru), Garba Tulla High School (Isiolo), Bura Boys High School (Garrisa) and St. Pius X Seminary (Meru).
Stakeholders in the Kenyan education sector, led by Fred Matiangi, were forced to hold an emergency meeting to curb the growing arson attack in public secondary schools.
The meeting resolved, among other things, that schools would not be closed until the second term ends in August 12. Four more dormitories were burnt on Sunday night in the ongoing nationwide school fires.
Police and the Kenya Red Cross said 8 people were injured in one of the arson attacks.
The incidents occurred at Baringo High School in Baringo County, St Augustine Boarding Primary School in Mombasa and Gachika Secondary School in Kiganjo.
Similar school fires were reported earlier Sunday at Ngaru Girl’s High School, Kirinyaga County, and St Mary’s High School in Narok and Lelwak High School in Nandi County.
Detectives are already looking to know if the fire at St Augustine Primary School in Tudor Mombasa was related to the wave of unrest in secondary schools countrywide.
On the other hand, a number of St. Thomas Moore Nguviu Boys High School alumni opine that the institution’s school bus write up is aiding students to errant behaviour like burning of schools.
The bus bears sheng’ inscriptions in matatu graffiti-like font, reading “kesi baadaye” and “C ndo kuxema”
The old boys of Nguviu High School old boys allege the inscriptions on the institution’s school bus depict the freedom given to today’s students, leading them to behave in an offending manner such as the ongoing rampant torching of schools.
Also, several of other reasons, including the ban on canning and leniency in disciplining children by parents, have been given as the cause of the ongoing school fires.