In Summary
  • The Moi Girls fire also caused Kenyans both online and offline to critically think about the current state of secondary schools in the country and the safety of their children.

  • It also became clear that many secondary schools do not allow parents to visit their children’s hostels to assess the living conditions of students.

  • According to a Facebook user who goes by the name Waa Njii Ruu, most boarding schools do not allow parents into the boarding areas because “things are a mess.”

The Moi Girls School Nairobi fire tragedy that claimed the lives of nine students has conjured up sad memories amongst Kenyans who attended boarding secondary schools.

Those who went through similar schools have been forced to relive the early days of learning that many would rather forget.

Reports that the dormitory in question at Moi Girls was a rather congested and was exclusively set aside for only Form One students with a few prefects around spurred reactions from Kenyans, particularly on social media, who told of their own horrific experiences in high school.

From congested and filthy dormitories to unfriendly administration regimes to blocked sewer systems, Kenyans revived memories of a tough four years in the country’s secondary school education system.

VENTING GROUND

What began as breaking news alerts about the dormitory fire soon spiralled into angry and concerned social media messages that got the country talking about schools and some rethinking the rationale behind boarding school.

The Moi Girls fire also caused Kenyans both online and offline to critically think about the current state of secondary schools in the country and the safety of their children.

Social media became a venting ground for many frustrated users who had suffered in various secondary schools in one way or the other.

From arrogant and indifferent school principals to harassment of students and parents by teachers to negligent school administrators, it was an opportunity for Kenyan parents and former students to tell all.

“You don’t know the arrogance of the head teachers of the big schools,” wrote Zabeth Kemunto. “They belittle parents and harass students and even try to force them to transfer so that they can admit others who pay handsomely… Kenyans, we must stop categorisation of schools.”

GRILLED WINDOWS

Parents also took to social media to complain about the grilled windows in dormitories as well as congestion with many giving examples of secondary schools whose classes and hostels were full to the brim.

One of the social media posts that elicited numerous reactions was from human rights activist and former Starehe MP aspirant Boniface Mwangi who, in a lengthy update, told the story of a parent of one of the victims of the Moi Girls fire.

“The Moi Girls School fire wasn’t the first of its kind. Unfortunately, if we don’t act with urgency, it will not be the last either,” he wrote.

To which many social media users who read the Facebook post responded with a stream of comments and experiences.

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