On Monday, September 23, 2019, the nation received one of the most devastating news it has ever received, during the early hours of the morning. The tragedy occurred at Dagoretti’s Precious Talent Academy around the time when classes across the country usually begin. Unfortunately, the collapse of an unstable building in the school claimed seven young lives and left at least 64 with injuries. Sixty of the students were treated and discharged, with four requiring admission to undergo further procedures.
Before the arrest of the school owner, the government ordered the closure of Precious Talent Academy. The pupils were transferred to Riruta Satellite Primary School, Jamhuri Primary School, and Ngong Forest Primary School.
Closure of Precious Talent in line with Task Force Recommendations
According to the CS for education, George Magoha, the closure is in line with the recommendations provided by a task force that was formed to evaluate the safety of the pupils. He explained that while the Precious Talent School was registered to accommodate only 340 pupils, the number had grown to over 800. George Magoha interpreted that as a violation of the set guidelines, and therefore, only fair for the school to be closed.
The education cabinet secretary made these sentiments on Thursday. While defending the move by the government, George Magoha cited two other reasons for the deregistration of the primary school, namely inadequate sanitation facilities and non-qualified teaching staff.
Another primary school that has since been closed is St. Catherine Bombululu Primary School. George Magoha noted that the school’s infrastructure isn’t any different from the one that collapsed at Precious Talent.
The unfortunate incident at Precious Talent Academy has prompted the government to order an audit of infrastructure in schools all over the country. The deputy president, Dr. Ruto, visited the injured pupils at Kenyatta National Hospital on Monday, 23 September.
‘The auditing of School Infrastructure will help reaffirm provision of conducive learning environment‘ Says DP Ruto
While making a statement about the same, Dr. Ruto assured the citizens that the audit would be vital in ensuring that school infrastructure provides a conducive learning environment. The Deputy President also noted that the government would ensure that no school operates with sub-standard structures in a bid to promote habitable academic institutions for all learners. While explaining the state of the 64 injured pupils that had been discharged, Dr. Ruto regretted that the accident had led to the death of innocent and promising young lives.
The deputy president said that one of the reasons for the accident was the absence of a public primary school in the area. He explained that the government was aware of the situation, and hence, pursuing the needful. He informed members of the public that the government would set aside Kshs. 20 Million to set up a public primary school. To ensure the realization of this vital goal as soon as possible, Dr. Ruto explained that the government had already assigned the project Kshs. 10 Million. The Dagoretti South Constituency availed the remaining Kshs.10 million through the Constituency Development Fund. The school is projected to be operational by January 2020. It will be established on the Lenana School grounds and will be under the management of the secondary school.