Sombre mood as parents and students of Moi Girls counselled

Sombre mood as parents and students of Moi Girls counselled

Sombre mood as parents and students of Moi Girls counselled

The incident at Moi Girls School in the capital, Nairobi, "was not an accident, it was arson", Kenya's Education Minister Fred Matiang'i said on Monday.

One of the students said the fire started from that particular girl's bed and spread to the others and since most of the girls were deep asleep, they could not help quell it or escape on time.

The school, which has more than 1,000 students, will remain closed for two weeks while the investigation takes place.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.

A sombre mood, whispered conversations and faces that tell a story of pain, confusion and unanswered questions greet you as you enter Moi Girls School, Nairobi.

But Matiang'i said some arson attacks were also related to fights over staff appointments in schools, where senior positions can bring financial rewards.

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The young women touched by this tragedy are the best of us: diligent, committed to learning, and prepared to make a difference in the life of the country they love.

Other possible motives include student anger over changes to the school calendar as well as Matiangi's tough approach to reforms. It was not clear how many fires were deliberate.

One of the students said the dormitory will always hold bad memories for her. "Right now, we are focused on managing the wounds to ensure that there are no infections", said Wanjala.

"Some of the fires we have faced before in the sector are related to that kind of thing, politicization of school headship, politicization of responsibility in the education sector".

But Tasha's parents, Titus and Zippy Wanjala, are glad that they were finally taking their daughter home.

Unemployment is high in Kenya and corruption is rife, and control of a school can mean not just a government salary, but an opportunity to extort extra money from students and parents in fees or other charges.

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