Education Cabinet Secretary Prof. George Magoha has attracted the ire of parents in Kenya over his refusal to either extend the current school term or reduce fees. This follows the move by the government to close all basic learning institutions on August 2 ahead of the August 9 polls.
The official re-opening date as announced by the Magoha-led ministry went from August 11th, to August 15th and finally August 18th. The confusing constant postponements left a section of parents in the country concerned.
Compounding the situation are national Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) and Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCSE) examinations. Magoha has expressed confidence that students are adequately prepared despite the break and would not require any date changes.
The second term is scheduled to end on September 16th. Learners will only be home for a week before before reporting back to schools for the third term of the 2022 academic year. Magoha caught flak on social media with Kenyan parents noting the challenge they would face in securing school fees.
Following the postponements, National Parents Association chairperson Nicholas Maiyo had pleaded with the Education ministry to either extend the term or reduce school fees.
“Schools were to open on August 11, but this was pushed to August 18. Our appeal is that the school calendar be extended or if it is not possible, they reduce the school fees,” Maiyo appealed to Magoha.
On the matter of school fees, Magoha urged school heads to keep students in school even as their parents sourced for the fees. He spoke at Mary Leakey Girls on Thursday, August 18 where he commissioned a Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) classroom.
“Parents should give children whatever they have and once children arrive at school they should not be sent back home,” he stated.
It will be one last hectic chapter in the restructuring of the school calendar necessitated by the impact of Covid-19 in 2020. The regular school calendar is supposed resume in January 2023.
“Our children are extremely resilient. Quite a number of them had completed their syllabuses. They have enough time to revise( for national exams) and their safety is of importance,” Magoha maintained.
The postponement of the resumption date for the term was intended to ensure a safe environment for learners as vote tallying and counting went on. William Ruto was declared President-elect by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
He, however, cannot sit pretty just yet as his rival Raila Odinga rejected the results. A petition is expected to land at the Supreme Court after Odinga’s Azimio coalition vowed to pursue all legal channels available to them.
Magoha noted that if the court was to nullify the results and order a repeat election, as happened in 2017, learners in boarding schools would stay in the institutions.
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