In Summary
  • Security officers toured the school on Monday and expressed concerns over learners’ welfare and recommended closure of the school.
  • Fingers will point at the Directorate of Quality Assurance and Standards at the ministry, which is charged with ensuring compliance.

The safety of 168 learners in a school that is at the centre of a legal tussle pitting the owner and the Ministry of Education over safety compliance is at risk.

The institution was closed last year by the authorities but reopened when the owner obtained a court injunction last month.

However, a wall that collapsed over the weekend laid bare the rot within the school.

A number of structures have cracks, the dormitories have no ventilation, and windows have steel grills that cannot be opened from the inside in clear violation of ministerial safety guidelines.

Dagoretti Sub-County Security Committee led by Deputy County Commissioner Patrick Mwangi, divisional criminal investigations head Frank Wanjau and Riruta deputy divisional police chief Alex Ndambuki toured the school on Monday morning and expressed concerns over the learners’ welfare and recommended closure of the school.

“This is a disaster waiting to happen,” Mr Wanjau said, referring to a large underground water tank situated on the way to the girls’ dormitories. It was only covered by loose rusted iron sheets.

CASE REVIEW

St Charles Mutego Educational Centre, a private mixed primary and secondary school at Mutuini in Dagoretti, Nairobi County, was ordered shut last year by Nairobi Regional Director of Education, Jared Obiero, during the countrywide crackdown on unsafe structures in schools.

However, proprietor Charles Nyamote obtained court orders stopping the. The Nation understands that Chief Justice David Maraga has asked for the case file for a possible review of the orders.

Inside the girls’ dormitories, blankets are spread on the floor to absorb water that seeps through the ground in the swampy area.

Their bathrooms have no doors despite the fact that there are rental houses about 15 metres away. At one of the buildings, naked electric cables dangle dangerously out of a power box.

Many of the buildings do not have columns and wooden beams have been used to hold the slabs together. Some appear to be caving in.

Questions linger on how the school has been allowed to operate for years in blatant violation of the law.

PRECIOUS TALENT

Fingers will point at the Directorate of Quality Assurance and Standards at the ministry, which is charged with ensuring compliance.

In 2014, a student was killed at the school and many others injured when an armed gang attacked them at night in unclear circumstances.

At that time, it had more than 800 students, but enrolment has been on the decline.

It’s a short distance from the Precious Top Talent School, where a poorly-built classroom block collapsed last September, killing eight pupils and injuring 65 others.

After the tragedy, the government pledged to build a primary school in the area, but the plans have ran into headwinds.