Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha has revoked the registration certificate of Precious Talents Top School in Ng’ando area in Nairobi.
The school’s proprietor, Mr Moses Wainaina, was arrested Thursday evening and is expected to be arraigned today. He faces, among others, manslaughter charges and giving false information to get approvals.
The school was registered on July 10, 2013 and issued with registration certificate number PE/10217/13 to host 340 pupils.
However, by Monday when tragedy struck, it had an enrolment of 923 pupils. Prof Magoha also redistributed pupils from the school where a ramshackle classroom block collapsed on Monday morning, killing eight learners and injuring 69 others.
They will be redistributed to three public schools and provided with textbooks and desks.
Up to 480 learners will be relocated to Ngong Forest Primary School, 2.3 kilometres away, 180 to Jamhuri Primary School, three kilometres and 130 will join Riruta Satellite Primary School, 2.5 kilometres away.
The 150 play group learners will remain at home owing to their age and the long distance to the schools. “The distance does not worry me. All the pupils at Ngong Forest come from there (Ng’ando) and they are very happy walking,” Prof Magoha said.
The CS said that two of the injured pupils were still admitted to Kenyatta National Hospital. One is due for discharge today while the other one is in the intensive care unit “but improving”.
The other 67 were treated and have been discharged. The ministry will facilitate counselling services to them. Prof Magoha ordered the Directorate of Quality Assurance and Standards to carry out a national audit and crackdown on schools with structures that pose danger to learners. He denied claims that state-run schools lack capacity, forcing parents to turn to poorly run private schools.
“It’s not about the facilities not being available,” he said. “There are many schools that we will not allow to operate in the new year,” the CS said when he addressed the media at New Kihumbuini Primary School moments after ordering the closure of Pama Academy in Kangemi, Nairobi.
Contrary to regulations
The school has a storey structure similar to the one that collapsed at Precious Talents Top School.
On Wednesday, he shut down another school, St Catherine Bombolulu Primary in Kibra Constituency.
Pama Academy has 472 learners. They will be distributed to two nearby public schools.
According to Mr Vitalis Sirucha, the head teacher of New Kihumbuini, the school can host 1,900 pupils but currently has 1,570.
He also released a preliminary report on the Ng’ando tragedy. The team was led by Nairobi Regional Director of Education Jared Obiero.
“The school had a playgroup with 150 children contrary to regulations of the ministry. The play group children were below the recommended school going age of four years,” the report reads.
Prof Magoha also called for the regulation of NGOs operating in informal settlements, accusing them of sponsoring schools in order to attract donor funding but operating below standard.