Former Mukumu Principal May Not be Charged, Machogu
Former Mukumu Girls principal Fridah Ndolo and other administrators could be off the hook in the deaths of three students and a teacher over alleged food contamination.
Education CS Ezekiel Machogu said the ongoing investigations are yet to nail any of the administrators to warrant their prosecution.
The revelation is a big relief to the former principal Fridah Ndolo who has been on the spot over the death of three students and a teacher.
The CS spoke when he appeared before the Senate plenary to answer questions from the members.
Machogu was responding to a question by Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale on whether the government was considering pressing charges on the former principal and the county director of education for alleged negligence.
“Can the minister inform us whether he’s going to take any action against the director and the former principal for negligence that led to the death of our children?” Khalwale posed.
Yesterday, Machogu said the government will compensate the families of the deceased with Sh400,000 each.
“The families of the deceased students will receive Sh400,000 per student from Group Life Insurance Cover as compensation,” he said.
“The ministry through the regional and county offices and the school’s management, has provided guidance and support to the bereaved families in pursuing these claims for payment.”
The ministry, Machogu disclosed, also catered to the treatment cost of 109 students who were admitted at various health facilities.
They were admitted to Kakamega County Referral Hospital, Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, Aga Khan, KNH, Mediheal, Oasis and Lifecare Hospital.
Machogu spelt out the ministry’s strategy to boost safety and security in all public schools.
He said the ministry enhanced surveillance and enforcement of the guidelines to guarantee safety of the students.
“Yes, you can have a very good manual but the issue of enforcement… and that is why I have said I am giving my officers all the necessary support,” the CS said.
He said the government has procured vehicles for directors of education across the country to enhance their mobility to enforce the set guidelines.
“With effect from this year we’re giving each one of them a vehicle so that they can effectively inspect schools around them,” Machogu said.
The ministry developed the safety standards manual for schools to provide guidelines on ensuring safety and health conditions in the school environment.
The manual requires the schools, to among other things, establish a safety subcommittee.
The manual also provides guidance on promotion of environmental sanitation and hygiene practices, provision of safe water and sanitation and protection of children with special needs.
“Through our quality assurance teams in the ground, we continue to monitor compliance with requirement of the manual,” he said.