Teachers’ union opposes ministry’s move to ban boarding primary schools

Kenya Union of Special Needs Education Teachers(KUSNET) Secretary General Mr James Torome at his office in Narok on December 7,2022.He has opposed Education PS Belio Kipsang's move to ban boarding primary schools from January next year

Photo credit: Robert Kiplagat | Nation Media Group

A teachers union has opposed the move by Education PS Dr Belio Kipsang to ban boarding primary schools saying the move will disadvantage learners with disabilities and those in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (Asal).

The Kenya Union of Special Needs Education Teachers (KUSNET) through its Secretary General Mr James Torome said the PS's move was ill-advised.

PS Belio announced that parents should look for day schools for their children in Grade One to Grade nine come January 2023.

But Mr Torome said boarding schools have been providing a haven to girls escaping retrogressive cultural practices such as FGM and early pregnancies.

"Banning boarding schools will mean that girls who escaped from FGM will now be at the risk of being subjected to the vice and married off," said the unionist.

Mr Torome said children in Asal areas are likely to drop out of school if removed from boarding schools.

During drought, he said, boys in pastoral areas are likely to move with their parents with livestock in search of water and pasture.

He also said that learners with disabilities will also face difficulties in day schools.

"Those with physical disabilities and using wheelchairs as well as the blind will need full-time guides which will be burdening to a majority of parents," said Mr Torome.

He also said that some special needs children require specialised treatment that can only be provided by caregivers in boarding facilities.

Mr Torome called on PS Belio to reconsider his stand as it will have repercussions on many children.

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