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Nairobi school closed for 4 days after building-collapse tragedy

Monday September 23 2019

collapsed classroom at Precious Talent Academy

People looking inside a collapsed classroom at Precious Talent Academy in Nairobi's Ng'ando on September 23, 2019. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

AMINA WAKO
By AMINA WAKO
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Precious Talents Primary School has been closed for the week to allow for investigations into the Monday morning building-collapse tragedy.

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha gave the directive when he visited the site where seven pupils died and 64 others injured in Nga'ndo area, Dagoretti South, Nairobi County.

“We have asked learners to stay at home over the next four days as we put in place adequate measures to ensure their safety of learning,” said Prof Magoha.

The two-storey classroom building caved in and came down on pupils at the private school a few minutes to 7am.

The disaster has cast a spotlight on structures in private schools and safety of pupils in Kenyan schools.

However, the CS sought to allay fears that pupils across the country are in danger saying the government is keen to ensure that the learning environment is safe.

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He said he inspected other classrooms in the school once he got there and they were okay.

“In my most humble opinion, the classes are stable but you notice somebody went and built another storey on top of a temporary structure,” he added.

NO PUBLIC SCHOOL

The CS said a new school will be build in Ng'ando Ward after local leaders and residents accused the government of failing to provide a public primary school in the area.

“The government will work towards establishing one. We shall ensure that land is made available by all measures possible and by the grace of God we will have a school in three to four months,” Prof Magoha said.

The CS said he would also visit Kenyatta National Hospital where the injured pupils were taken.

CONDOLENCES

President Uhuru Kenyatta who is in New York, US for the United Nations General Assembly sent his condolences to the families.

“My heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathies to families of the children affected by the tragedy at Precious Talent Academy in Dagoretti. Our agencies are taking urgent actions to contain the situation and alleviate further suffering,” he said in a tweet posted on the State House Twitter account.

Deputy President William Ruto also wished quick recovery to the injured pupils in his condolence statement.

“Condolences to the families that have lost their loved ones in the unfortunate incident at Precious Talent School, Nairobi County. Quick recovery to the injured. Concerned agencies have been mobilised to address the situation. We must create safe spaces for our children to learn,” he said on Twitter.

HELP LINE

The Kenya Red Cross has set up an information centre and is also providing psychosocial support services.

The numbers are +254 715 820 219 and hotline 1199.

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