As the Standard Eight and Form Four candidates prepare to sit their national examinations next month, they need a conducive atmosphere to adequately prepare for the tests. This is becoming increasingly difficult to guarantee. Since schools reopened in January after a 10-month closure over the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a sharp increase in student unrest.
Unruly students have been torching dormitories, classrooms and other facilities, making it difficult for learning to go on. The wave of riots continues, defying efforts by the school administrators to end the unrest.
Nearly 20 schools have been closed down following incidents of arson. This is hardly the atmosphere in which youth can be expected to prepare for the tests that will determine their transition to the next stage of their education.
Naturally, the Education ministry is concerned about the resurgence in student unrest. So are other stakeholders, including parents. Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha has called for the reintroduction of corporal punishment as a means to restore discipline.
Not everybody agrees with him on that. The latest incident at Moi Girls School in Eldoret, where students protested, demanding the removal of their headteacher, should be a source of concern. This school with a high reputation for discipline has had to be indefinitely closed.
One cannot rule out the possibility of hooligans among the students taking advantage of the situation to cause mayhem in schools. This is why the stakeholders are asking for increased surveillance to prevent the destruction of school facilities.
With the national examinations only a fortnight away, the candidates should be going through their last revisions and working with their teachers to adequately prepare for the tests.
The Education authorities and security personnel must ensure the safety of the learners, teachers and staff and prevent further destruction of school facilities.