Fire breaks out at Nyamache Boys' school, hours after Matiang'i visit

Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i (second right) and other Education ministry officials when they toured Itierio Boys High School in Kisii County on June 27, 2016, after seven dormitories were burnt by rioting students the previous day. PHOTO | BENSON MOMANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • When the Nation team arrived at the school, students had already evacuated their beddings from the affected dormitory, named "Manga".
  • Nyamache police boss (OCPD) Japheth Mwirichia said the fire began at around 7pm.
  • School captain Obadiah David said the students were in class when the fire broke out.

Fire broke out at Nyamache Boys' High School in Kisii County on Monday, on the same day that Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i visited the institution.

"A fire is ongoing in the institution, but I cannot speculate on the cause of the fire just yet," Kisii County Commander Agnes Mudamba said.

When the Nation team arrived at the school, students had already evacuated their beddings from the affected dormitory, named "Manga".

Nyamache police boss (OCPD) Japheth Mwirichia said the fire began at around 7pm.

"The fire began when the electricity supply went back on after a day-long blackout. We managed to put it out with the help of students, staff and members of the public," he said.

School captain Obadiah David said the students were in class when the fire broke out.

"We were in class attending preps when some students who were in the laboratory raised the alarm," he said.

The school’s principal, Phillip Ogechi, declined to talk to the press.

The school fire is its second in two months.

SCHOOL FUNDRAISER

Dr Matiang’i had presided over a fundraiser for the rebuilding of the school‘s dormitories that were gutted earlier. A total of Sh2 million was raised.

He was accompanied by political leaders from the county and an official from the Kenya National Union of Teachers.

Government officials at the function included Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang and Teachers' Service Commission (TSC) chief executive officer Nancy Macharia.

The team had earlier visited Itierio Boys High School, which suffered extensive fire damage following a Saturday evening strike by students.

During the Itierio visit, Dr Kipsang said the State would not fund the school’s reconstruction.

"We cannot subsidise crime," he said.

Ms Macharia warned of stern disciplinary action against any teacher found to have been involved in student unrest.

Dr Matiang’i said parents would be forced to shoulder the burden of rebuilding schools damaged by their children.

REPORT IN 48 HOURS

The Education ministry boss also said he had formed a team to investigate the cause of the incident and report to him within 48 hours.

He announced he had released a circular banning the transfer of students from one school to another without the authority of the sub-county director of education.

The CS said some parents transfer their indisciplined children to different schools after they were involved in misbehaviour in their original schools.

He called on parents to instil the right values in their children so as to prevent them from taking antisocial behaviour tendencies to school.

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