Moi Girls reopens amid tight security after rape saga

Sunday June 10 2018

Moi Girls School-Nairobi

A Student of Moi Girls School-Nairobi leaving on June 3, 2018 after it was closed following reports that a student had been raped by unknown people. The school reopens on June 10, 2018. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By OUMA WANZALA
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Moi Girls School-Nairobi reopened on Sunday, a week after it was closed following a student rape incident.

Parents accompanied by their daughters started arriving at the school as early as 8am, and were received by the management led by Nairobi regional education coordinator John Ololtuaa.

Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed appointed Mr Ololtuaa to head an interim management board following the dissolution of the  previous one.

And even as the parents took their children back, some were sceptical about the security measures that had been put in place.

“Yes I have brought back my daughter, but I’m not sure if she is safe,” said a parent.

Earlier in the day, the interim board held a series of meetings on how to ensure the students’ safety.

SECURITY MEASURES

Mr Brian Weke, the new chairman of the Parents Teachers Association, said they were satisfied with short-term security measures.

“Parents have had a chance to check where their daughters sleep and also inspected the perimeter wall. The CCTV cameras are now working,” said Mr Weke.

He added that the students would undergo counselling, saying that most of them were traumatised by the rape of one of their colleagues.

Mr Weke asked the government to provide the necessary support to the school to ensure that learning fully resumes.

Parents will today hold a meeting with the Ministry of Education and the Teachers Service Commission on the state of affairs at the school.

There will also be a counselling session for all the students.

INTERIM BOARD

Learning will resume on Tuesday, according to a programme released by the Ministry of Education.

Ms Mohamed appointed a nine-member interim board of management for the school on Saturday.

The board comprises representatives from the TSC and the Ministry of Education, with acting principal Florence Omusula as the secretary and the Kibra Deputy County Commissioner as an ex-officio member.

Ms Mohamed has also set up a team to develop a policy to address sexual and other abuses in schools.

The advisory team comprises sexual and gender-based violence experts as well as forensic, pathology and safety in education practitioners.

The team is tasked with coming up with a learner protection policy that will ensure schools are safe.

SEXUAL HARASSMENT

Cases of sexual harassment of students have been on the rise in the country. A total of 111 male teachers have been sacked by the TSC in the last six months for having sexual relations with their students.

On Wednesday last week, a secondary school principal was charged in a Kitui court with defiling a Form Four student.

Mosa Mixed Secondary School principal Samuel Matuvi Kimanzi, who appeared before Chief Magistrate Marianne Murage, denied the charge.

The sexual harassment reports have been supported by a  study by Unesco, which raised the red flag regarding sexual harassment of learners by teachers.

In its 2016 report, the UN agency said about 39 per cent of school principals had admitted that teacher-pupil harassment had occurred in their schools.