Why learners target dorms in fire attacks

Tuesday July 10 2018

Rioting secondary school students target dormitories for destruction because they perceive them as the most valuable buildings around, the students told a taskforce chaired by Ms Claire Omollo, whose report was released last year.

The students said mattresses easily catch and spread fire, adding that burning dormitories was the easiest way to make them be sent home.

Some of their reasons for burning dormitories were sudden changes in school rules, being ignored, caning, and peer pressure.

Their recommendations included expelling indisciplined students, guidance and counselling, spiritual and parental guidance, scru-tinising transfer and admission cases, banning food and drinks from outside, ending caning, and equal treatment of all students.

They also asked for regular barazas and help for needy students so that they don't steal from others. They said the solution to unrest was dialogue between them and school administrations, and encouraging guidance and counselling in schools.



But on Monday, Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed warned that problems cannot be solved by destroying property. "We will deal with the suspects without mercy,” she said.

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations also warned that students involved in school unrest will face criminal charges.

In a tweet, it warned students from primary school to college that it is archiving and profiling every criminal act and consolidating charges that may be preferred against each and every student involved in any crime.

“Let each student be informed that the criminal acts will automatically be reflected on the police clearance certificate (certificate of good conduct), when such a student applies for one.”

The DCI added that this will be a permanent blight that will bar many students from achieving their goals since no employer will want them.