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Students stranded as Thika school closed

Oliver Musembi @PeopleDailyKe

As schools opened for third term last week, parents and students of a Thika Catholic-sponsored school are stranded at home after it was closed down.

Caritas Mariana High School was closed by education authorities over claims of devil worship and sexual abuse of students.

A team of Education ministry officials, including Thika sub-county education director Ronald Mbogo, recommended the school’s closure two weeks before the end of second term.

The move has left the school’s 72 students, among them 10 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KSCE) candidates, in confusion.

In a report, the team said the closure was prompted by complaints of cases of devil worship, sexual exploitation and rampant indiscipline among students, including sexual promiscuity. Parents were subsequently advised to look for other schools for their children.

However, school management and parents read ulterior motives in the closure, which they attributed to individuals allegedly seeking to grab a plot belonging to the school.

Parents Teachers Association chairman Henry Ngure said the closure came as a shock and  has jeopardised learners’ future, adding that most of them are yet to get admission elsewhere.

“Parents are now stranded with their children at home. Why did the officials close the school in the middle of the year which is against ministry policy?” asked Ngure.

John Mwaura, a director of the school, claimed the team of officials “did not bother to investigate” the allegations which were contained in an anonymous letter written to the sub-county education director Mbogo.

But Mbogo defended the closure, saying the ministry could not wait for the end of the year to take action, given the gravity of the allegations. He said the ministry will help students get admission in other schools.

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