15 PCEA Kambala girls students injured In a school fire.
Three PCEA Kambala girls in molo students are being treated in hospital, while 12 others received first aid on the scene from a Kenya Red Cross team after one of the school dormitories caught fire.
The twelve were said to have suffered from smoke inhalation while trying to rush into the burning dormitory to save their belongings. Around 50 students live in the dorm.
The cause of the fire, which was reported to have started around 1 p.m., is unknown, but police are investigating. Since the students went on strike only a month ago, parents are now demanding that the school administration come clean about the underlying issues at the school.
When the pandemic hit Kenya in 2020, students, parents, and educators were concerned about how school closures would affect children’s well-being and progress.
As soon as the lockdowns were lifted in early-2021, the main concern became whether those students would set fire to their schools.
Students in Kenya set fire to at least 25 secondary boarding schools during their first month back. At least 40 more people were arsonists in October and November.
One student was tragically killed in one of this year’s fires. Hundreds more have woken up to find their dormitories on fire, watched their personal belongings burn, and been threatened by authorities to confess responsibility.
Dozens of secondary students have been arrested and are facing criminal charges. Several schools have been closed while new funding (mostly from parents) is sought to rebuild damaged structures.
While each arson incident is terrifying, the overall trend of school fires in Kenya is no longer shocking.
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From 2008 to 2018, there were at least 750 arson attempts at Kenyan secondary boarding schools, according to my analysis of government and media reports.
There have been more in some years than others – there were 239 such cases in 2016, for example – but every year has seen dozens of arson attempts.