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From Maranda School to Mortuary Gates For Fees: Father’s Tragic Tale

From Maranda School to Mortuary Gates For Fees: Father’s Tragic Tale

A family from Gesima, Nyamira County, is mourning the death of their son, who was killed in an accident while returning home from Maranda High School after being sent home to pay fees.

The student was one of five passengers killed in a horrific accident on the Kisii-Keroka road at Amabuko on Saturday evening.

Protus Mogaka and four other passengers were killed when their 14-seater matatu collided head-on with a trailer in Amabuko, Kisii County, just a few metres from Keroka town.

The accident occurred when the matatu driver attempted to avoid colliding with a motorcyclist.

The parents of the 17-year-old boy claim the school did not inform them that their son would be sent home to pay fees; they now want the Ministry of Education to investigate.

Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu stated in February of this year that no student should be sent home for lack of school fees.

Protus was easily recognized due to his school uniform. Within a short period of time, his parents received dozens of phone calls. His parents, who work as Jua Kali artisans at the Nyansiongo centre, are well-known in the region, making it simple for people to contact them.

Mr. Julius Mogaka was shocked when an unknown caller asked him to rush to Amabuko to determine if his son had been involved in an accident.

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Mr. Mogaka reported that it had been around 7 pm when he received a call instructing him to proceed to Gucha sub-county hospital where the accident survivors had been taken. According to him, upon arrival at Gucha, he discovered that his son’s body had been left unattended near the mortuary gate, which left him confused and led to him wailing.

He stated that police officers placed him in their vehicle while others kept watch due to their discomfort with his behavior.

Later, his son’s class teacher sent him a text message inquiring whether the boy had arrived home.

“Good evening, has Brotas (Protus) come home?” read the message from the class teacher to the distraught parent.

The communication occurred at 10:07 p.m.

According to the father of three, it was approximately 7pm when he received a text message from the teacher instead of a phone call. The father expressed confusion as to how the teacher was inquiring about his child’s whereabouts without first informing him that the child had been sent home.

Later, after the father texted back that his son had passed away, the teacher called and explained that he had sent the child home for unpaid fees and was checking to see if the child had arrived safely.

The father questioned how the teacher could have sent his son home without informing him, and informed him that his son had passed away. The teacher hung up the phone at this point.

Protus was his first-born child, and he had hoped that he would complete secondary school, pursue higher education, and improve his and his siblings’ lives.

“He was only a few months away from being a candidate. I had so much hope in him. He was a bright child,” said Mr Mogaka.

Protus had recently returned to school following the burial of his grandfather.

The tearful father reported that he had thought his son was at school as usual, but received a call from him on Saturday saying that he had been chased from school.

The father was shocked that the school had not informed him, as they usually do in such situations. He expressed his wonder about why the school had sent the children home on a weekend and had not checked whether the students had fare to travel home, instead of just chasing his son.

Mr. Mogaka stated that he believed his son would be safe at school now that he had reduced the burden of school fees.

“I believed my son was in school as usual, but he informed me on Saturday that he had been expelled. What surprised me was that the school did not call to inform me, as it normally does. I wonder why children were sent home on weekends. “I am perplexed as to why they did not check to see if the student had enough money to get home; instead, they just chased him,” the tearful father said.

“He informed me that my son walked from school to Bondo and later boarded a matatu to Kisumu with the little money he had. While in Kisumu, he called using another trader’s number and asked me to send him Sh500 to enable him reach Kisii town. I sent him and that was the last time we talked,” he said.

The grief-stricken mother of Protus was unable to speak with the media.

His cousin Eric Ong’au stated that the family is perplexed as to why a large school like Maranda did not adhere to protocol when sending children home to pay school fees.

Even his fare home posed a difficulty. Imagine a total of Sh1,500 was spent on his school transportation. Why were students also being sent home on weekends?” said Protus’ aunt, Ms Dinah Kemuma.

She added that her nephew would not have passed away if the parents and school had communicated.

She stated that the family is eager to investigate what they perceive to be the school’s neglect of their son so that no more lives are lost in the future.

When the Nation visited Mr. Mogaka, a teacher called him to inquire about funeral arrangements.

He expressed his condolences to the bereaved father and agreed that the school should have informed him that the boy was being sent home to pay fees.

“The principal asked me to call you and enquire whether you have set aside the burial date so that we can see how to help,” said the teacher, who also enquired whether a post-mortem had been done.

From Maranda School to Mortuary Gates For Fees: Father’s Tragic Tale

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