The tragic death of eight innocent primary school pupils at Precious Talent School in Nairobi County after the collapse of classrooms in a storeyed structure has precipitated a countrywide crackdown and inspection by the Ministry of Education on the fitness of learning and accommodation facilities in public and private primary and secondary schools.
But the question that has to be answered is what do the national government, the Ministry of Education and County Directors of Education do throughout the year? Must we lose innocent lives before those charged with the management of our education institutions scamper from their offices to undertake inspection? Don’t these directors visit these schools? Or is it a case of corruption where private institutions are concerned and an “I don’t care attitude” once it is public institutions. So when there were fires in boarding secondary schools what inspections were being done? It is the height of criminal negligence of duty by those charged to manage, oversight, licence private and public primary and secondary schools to allow situations like what took place at Precious Talent School to escape accountability.
They ought to equally be prosecuted alongside the owners of the private schools and the head teachers and board of governors of public schools who know the infrastructure learners are being exposed to are unsafe, continue keeping them open for use when they ought to be closed until they are rendered fit for the learners use.
The state of sanitation in most public schools in the former Western Province are pathetic and ticking tragedies for the learners whether due to potential collapse or exposure to diseases. How then do the County public health officers continue to behave as if there is no danger to the learners? What crackdown have they undertaken to completely wipe out the menace?
And since the onset of Constituency Development Fund, the largest component of that CDF has gone to the construction of infrastructure in public primary and secondary schools next to bursaries. The challenge, the scandal in some cases is that the quality of infrastructure funded leaves a lot to be desired and some of the infrastructure has in less than twenty years become decrepit and in danger of collapsing. What explains such short lifespan for supposedly permanent structures if not corruption?
The totality of the infrastructure in private, public primary and secondary schools in the region require a genuine, thorough audit and reports made public and so that those structures that are not fit for use are condemned and demolished or renovated to standard and records kept of those who constructed them and if any collapse then the whole chain of those who contributed to the poor structure are punished by the law.
Education continues, next to the health sector, to consume the highest percentage of this nation’s taxes and it is unacceptable that the infrastructure being erected is half baked, temporary and a risk to learners. Where do the teachers Unions stand on this question. They ought to be the whistle blowers for bystanders.
The children of Kenya deserve the best and corruption, incompetence in the management of their affairs must be routed out and those who attempt those vices with our children punished severely.