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Over 1 500 children yet to report to school

24 January 2013, 15:13 Alloys Musyoka

Authorities have said that about 1 500 children are still loitering at the tourist town of Malindi terrorizing tourists at various joints, with the provincial administrators issuing a stern warning to parents who have not yet taken their children to school since the beginning of the first term that they will be arrested and taken to jail for negligence.

Chief  Nicodemus Mwayele said most of them terrorize tourists at Nakumatt gate and Malindi handcraft where most of the tourist visit to buy curios and other tourists items.

Addressing the media in Malindi, Mwayele said most of the children are KG1 - class 4 pupils who have not reported back to school since the term began three weeks ago for unknown reasons.

The chief said they will be conducting a massive crackdown to arrest the children and their parents who will then be taken to court to answer charges of negligence.

"It has come to our notice that when other children are in school, some are loitering around terrorizing tourists day and night at certain joints and therefore we have decided to go for them by Friday. After arresting children, our target will be their parents who have failed to take them to school," he warned.

Some of the primary schools where the children have been enrolled include Karima, Sir Ali, Upweoni and Airport primary schools.

However, sources told journalists that most of the children have failed to go to school because of increased school fees by the school management.

A spot check done by a  News24 Kenya correspondent at Upweoni primary school has revealed that nursery school pupils joining class one were forced to pay KES 2 800, an amount that most parents could not afford.

Further, it was discovered that every pupil in the same school was supposed to pay KES 700 for Parent and Teachers' Association (PTA) fee aimed at development activities in the school.

Those who have not paid this fee have been forced to stay at home but Malindi District Education Efficer Mary Kamurua said that parents who have complaints should report the matter in her office for assistance.

She said any changes in school fees should be agreed upon by parents and teachers.

 
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