Education Cabinet Secretary Prof. George Magoha has warned that students found to have participated in setting school facilities on fire will face stringent punishment, including locking the culprits out of the Education system.
This comes after the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) issued a warning to students who participate in burning down schools.
“This is to warn every student from Primary School, Secondary School, College and University that the Directorate of Criminal Investigations is archiving and consolidating charges that may be preferred to each and every student involved in any crime.
Let each student be informed that it will automatically be reflected on the Police Clearance Certificate (Certificate of Good Conduct) when such student will apply for one.
This will be a permanent Criminal mark that will bar many students from achieving their goals as no employer of worth will dare employ such characters.
The crimes include armed and unpeaceable demos, arson, drugs, cyber bullying, assault of any degree, drunkenness’ or any reported crime of any kind.
This is therefore to warn the students and to ask parents, religious leaders and guardians to take note and advise them accordingly,” read a statement by DCI.
A tough-talking Magoha insists that once blacklisted, no institution will admit those found to have had a hand in setting schools ablaze when the government, alongside parents and guardians, sacrifices resources to ensure they have adequate facilities to make their studies smooth.
“Every action you decide to do, you must know there is a consequence to it. And you must know we shall not handle you with kid gloves,” he charged
“If you are caught, you are not going to go to any other school, definitely not a public school in this country. We shall charge you and it shall remain on your record so when you come to look for a job, you are given miss out,” He added
Magoha dismissed claims that the current situation might have been brought about by the covid-19 pandemic. He insists that the arson attacks have nothing to do with covid stress. The CS argues that the school fires have been happening even before covid pandemic.
“Statistics show that this madness from 2016 we had 239 episodes of arson in schools. In 2017, 62 cases were recorded, 61 cases recorded in 2018, 2019 cases recorded were 63 and last year 7 cases before COVID-19.” He said
Prof Magoha who was in Machakos School described the arson attacks as stupid and primitive and must stop.
“It looks mundane and juvenile for somebody in high school to burn a building. What has the building done to you?” an enraged Magoha asked
“Do not think you are going to force us to close schools, we won’t. The one percent who want to spoil for others, we shall deal with you ‘circumphoniously’, I want to assure you,” he cautioned
The warning comes as over 35 students were arrested in connection with cases of unrest in various schools.
He also wants parents to play their role effectively arguing that some of the cases are as a result of failure to discipline the children.