Magoha appoints taskforce to investigate school tragedy

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha has formed a multi-agency task force to investigate the collapse of two classrooms in Dagoretti, Nairobi, which led to the death of seven pupils. 

The task force comprised of officials from the county government, local leaders, Ministries of Education, Interior, Health and Red Cross Kenya is expected to submit its report to Prof Magoha for further action. 

Meanwhile, the Precious Talent Academy is closed until Monday next week.

Speaking to reporters on the scene, Prof Magoha confirmed that the school was duly registered and had an enrollment of 800 pupils. 

Dawn Tragedy

Seven pupils were confirmed dead and many injured after the two-storey building collapsed at Precious Talent School, Dagoretti, on Monday morning. 

According to the CS, 64 students were admitted at Kenyatta National Hospital with two of them requiring close attention while the rest sustained soft tissue injuries. 

“We have received 64 pupils injured in the Precious Talent School tragedy. Two of them- a boy and a girl- are in critical condition. The rest are in stable condition,” Kenyatta National Hospital said in a statement.

Six hundred students underwent medical checks at the nearby St. Mary’s Catholic Church and the CS confirmed that they are ok. 

Wee hours

According to sources, the students were in school as early as six in the morning before the classrooms collapsed twenty minutes later yet students are supposed to report at seven.

Prof. Magoha stated that anyone going against the official hours should be held responsible and answerable.

“We have office hours for the children and everybody must comply with whether in public or private schools.”

Poor Structure

The classrooms are built of timber and iron sheets and officials from the National Buildings Inspectorate said that the building was substandard.

“Whatever we have seen is not an engineering work at all. It is a quack thing and the person who did this is criminally negligent,” said the Secretary-General of National Buildings Inspectorate.

Lack of public utility

Prof. Magoha refuted claims that there was a lack of public schools in Ng’ando arguing that the nearest primary public school from the scene is two kilometers away and proximity should be put into considerations instead of boarders. 

“The issue should not be the boarders of the wards; the issue should be the proximity of the schools to where the learners live.”

According to the Youth leader in Ng’ando area Mandela Nelson, there is no public utility in the area and they had raised the issue with the national and county government but the concerns were not considered until the tragedy today. 

The CS, however, said that the government will work in establishing one primary school in the area. 

“We will commit as government to construct a primary school in Ng’andu. By whatever means possible we shall ensure that land is made available.”

School Safety

Prof. Magoha assured Kenyans that schools are safe for pupils stating that the incident at Precious Talent School should not be used to instill fear in students. 

“The children of Kenya are safe in schools. This single tragic incident must not be used by anyone to instill fear in our children in both public and private schools.”

Prof. Magoha said that the national government through his ministry is going to monitor all schools to ensure the safety of the students.

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