Keveye Girls High School Closed Indefinitely After Students Protests In Kenya

Over 1,000 Keveye Girls High School students have been sent home indefinitely after a night-long unrest at the school, which resulted to destruction of property.

Four students sustained injuries but were treated at Vihiga County Referral Hospital in Mbale town after a fierce confrontation with the police Monday night.

The students demonstrated, calling for reinstatement of their principal Judith Ngome who has been interdicted by the Teachers Service Commission due to unknown reasons.

Teachers at the school said trouble started when officials from Ministry of Education convened a meeting on Monday, where they appointed an interim Board of Management, and announced to students their Deputy Principal Violet Mwale would be the acting principal.

“The parade that had been convened to relay the information suddenly turned chaotic, with some students crying and others shouting they wanted their principal back after the announcement,” a teacher at the school said.

The teacher blamed the Ministry of Education for the unrest noting, it would have been better if they had not announced to the students.

“The students had a special attachment with their principal and when they heard she had been interdicted, it didn’t just make sense to them,” the teacher said.

The students later become violent from 6pm, breaking into the school canteen where they smashed CCTV’s before launching an attack on classes and administration block.

Afire that had been started was contained by police officers.

“We were forced to stay in classrooms for the better part of the night because we feared going into the dormitory. Police were all over the compound to ensure we were safe, but students were pelting them with stones,” a student said.

The student said majority of them wanted to break the gate and go outside the school, but police helped to contain them.

Mrs Ngome took over the school six years ago, when it had a population of less than 500 students and performing dismally at a mean of 5.2, but has grown to a population of 1395 with a mean score of 9.6 in last year’s KCSE.

Sabatia sub county commissioner Isaiah Tanui noted the girls had caused damage because they wanted their principal back.

“Students say they do not want the person who is acting as principal now,” Tanui said.

He added, “The students complained the acting principal is rude and arrogant and they would not be able to have an enabling environment at the school.”

He said the school was supposed to be closed on Thursday, but the situation could not allow the students to stay a day longer in the school.

He noted that the administration block, kitchen, classrooms, dormitory and dining hall were vandalised.

“As per this morning (Tuesday), the students have not been able to take their breakfast because they completely destroyed the kitchen,” he said.

He noted the unrest at the school would not affect the national examinations that have commenced as the over 280 Form Fours have remained to have ample time to study.

Sabatia sub county director of education Alex Duro noted the students were unfriendly and the state of vandalised classes and the kitchen could not allow them to continue being at the school.

When earlier contacted to comment on the interdiction, County TSC boss John Odongo declined to respond on the issue.

The school has produced sterling results in the last four years, with its mean score hitting 10.3 in 2015, where it emerged the best school in Western Kenya. ?



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