Some of the reasons why Kenyan schools are burned
1. Drug abuse
Some of the students who start these fires are under the influence of drugs. Students are often exposed to drugs such as bhang which influences their thinking ability and eventually, they are unable to handle the pressure that comes with learning, school rule and exams and as a result, they opt for chaotic behaviours.
2. Poor exams preparation
In most instances, the fires occur a few weeks before the exams, something that can be associated with poor exams preparation and exams phobia. Students have previously demonstrated against MOCK exams with an explanation that these exams are usually too difficult to handle. In order to avoid these exams, they opt to cause school unrest by causing fires.
3. Poor communication
Students have previously blamed the school management for failing to listen to their requests. In 2018 one boys’ school burned their school structure just because the administration denied them to watch the 2018 FIFA world cup match. Schools have been torched for simple reasons as food, school outings, school uniform etc.
In one instance in Nyeri High School, students locked four prefects in a dormitory and torched it. They accused them of harassment and unfair treatment. Four students lost their lives just because someone felt that a certain punishment given to them was not supposed to be issued.
5. Peer influence
Bad company ruins good morals, during adolescence, many young people are easily influenced. Some will just do things to please others or to just get accepted. Negative peer influence has influenced students to the level where they burn their schools just to prove to a neighbouring school that they can also do it.
6. Poor parenting
Another outstanding cause of fires in Kenyan schools is the fact that some parents do not take the initiative to guide their children. It’s common to find that some of the students who plan to burn their schools have actually been suspended in other schools due to indiscipline. It’s not clear why some students are more undisciplined than others. When a child lacks proper parental guidance then he/she will likely do what pleases them.
7. Transfer of teachers
Unexpected transfer of teachers has also caused students to burn their schools. A good example is Ortum High School, which is located West Pokot County, where students burned the school just because the school headteacher was transferred unexpectedly.
8. Political influence
Politicians interfere with the management of schools, especially in the instance where the government transfer teachers. To support or oppose the decision by the politicians’ students have touched their school just to prove a point.
9. Social decadence
The rate of social decadence in the country has increased and society has developed crooked attitudes where people do not care as long as the issues surrounding them are not affecting them directly. A good illustration is where students buy petrol from people around the school surrounding. No one questions or gets bothered by the idea that a student in a school uniform is purchasing petrol.
10. Poor school management
Poor management of schools leads to poor directive and accountability. When a school of over 500 students is left with only one teacher during the weekends it means students are at free will to do what they desire even without being discovered.
11. Abolition of corporal punishments
Corporal punishment ensured that students who had constant cases of indiscipline were dealt with and they actually felt the effect of their behaviour. Since this punishment was done away with many students have gone overboard and caused the deaths of so many students.
12. Overloaded curriculum and low teachers’ morale
The education system in Kenya expects so much from a student. The pressures that come with too much expectations normally causes anxiety to the students and some are unable to deal with it. On the other hand, the teachers are normally overworked they are unable to have a close relationship with their students hence cannot tell when there is tension in the school.