Students of lkuu Boys High School, Tharaka Nithi County, have walked out of school after burning four dorms on Sunday night.

Property of unknown value was destroyed after a fire broke out in lkuu Boys High School in Tharaka Nithi county. No casualty was reported in an incident that left four dormitories reduced to ashes.

The news comes just a few weeks after students at Mama Ngina High School in Mombasa were sent home after a similar incident.

According to the school administration, the students set fire to a section of the school before it was extinguished to prevent further damage.

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They went on to say that the decision to send the students home was made to alleviate any tension and potential damage caused by the first incident.

Parents who came to pick up their children chastised the school administration for keeping them in the dark about such incidents, only to be informed when the damage had been done. Cases of school fires in the country have recently increased, with the government, through the Ministry of Education, promising severe punishment to those found guilty.

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Parents have shifted the blame to school administration, which has shifted the financial burden to them as part of the effort to restore discipline among school-aged children. Each year has also seen a flood of analysis into the causes of these fires. For example, in 2008, a

parliamentary committee tasked with investigating secondary school students’ unrest held 33 public hearings attended by thousands of Kenyans.

Another parliamentary committee conducted interviews at 97 schools in 2016. The range of issues raised in those public inquiries -as well as in the majority of media coverage -has been broad.

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The investigation in 2008 resulted in a massive report that identified 49 “possible root causes” and 124 recommendations. Students’ indiscipline, alcohol and drug abuse, peer pressure, school mismanagement, dormitory congestion, too many exams, criminal gangs, tribalism, poor parenting, students’ use of social media, and sensational media reporting were all mentioned by the 2016 task force.

On the one hand, such breadth may indicate an understanding of the complex set of factors underlying the phenomenon.

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