Two schoolgirls were Thursday injured after they were attacked in a house belonging to their school director.
The students from Kilifi Mixed High School, Kilifi town, were allegedly attacked by masons who are building the director’s house on Ukombozi estate. They were admitted to the Kilifi County Hospital unconscious. The mother of one of the attack victims is the school cook.
They are among 34 girls from the school who have been sleeping on the verandah of the director’s house since February 6. Kilifi OCS Hassan Kochalle said the girls were rescued and taken to the nearby St Thomas Girls’ High School for the night. They later recorded statements.
“The boys sleep at school while we sleep here. We have tried to ask for an alternative place, but the director has been quiet about it. We don’t even know what will happen if it rains during the night,” one student said.
School director Nelson Chai said he had paid the masons some money, which they must have used to buy alcohol before they returned and attacked the girls.
“The masons needed Sh4,700 for the work they had done. I paid them Sh3,400 and I promised them I would clear the amount later in the day. When I left, they came back drunk and attacked the girls who live here. One was hit on the head and kicked on the stomach while the other was hit on the stomach only,” he said.
Kilifi Mums chairperson Kibibi Ali accused the director of taking advantage of the students and urged the government to take necessary action.
“This director sleeps alone in the house without a wife, yet on the verandah there are girls. Who knows what goes on during the night? The ministry should investigate this school and make sure action is taken against the director,” she said.
Kilifi North subcounty quality assurance and standards officer Anthony Wachira said they had launched investigations. “The school is a day school according to our records and we do not understand how he keeps girls in his house,” he said.
The private facility registered as a day school but Chai said he opted to offer the students boarding facilities as he seeks approval from the Ministry of Education. The school has 110 students, some from Nairobi, Kwale, Malindi, Kaloleni and Rabai.
Chai said he had to live with the girls in his house because he had no alternative place. “I used to stay with them in another house near the school but shifted to this house. They sleep on the verandah because I can’t stay with them in the house,” he said.
“They used to stay at a nearby school but were kicked out. I tried to take them to another school, but they refused because the school has boys who board. I have not completed putting up the hostels here.”
The students said no learning takes place as teachers refused to report to work this month over delayed pay. Last Friday, seven students were employed to work at the director’s construction site. They said Chai asked them to join a team as casual labourers so they can get money to buy food.
“There is no food at school. The director called us and told us there were jobs at his construction site and we should join to get money for food. We went to his house and asked for tea before we could go to the construction site. He said there was no tea and seven of us decided to go for the job. It is now a week and we have not been paid,” a student said.
But Chai rejected the claim saying he directed the boys to go back to school when they demanded tea before they could get to the site.
“I had told them about the chances at the construction site because the masons were laying the slab, which needed a lot of manpower,” he said.
“Many of them came but I told them to go back to school if they could not work before taking tea from my house. The foreman at the construction site later told me seven students agreed to work. I have not paid them but will.”