Confusion as schools break for mid-term ahead of schedule

Students

Secondary school students in Eldoret town, Uasin Gishu County after schools closed for mid-term break on June 24, 2024. 

Photo credit: Jared Nyataya | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Many parents feared that their children’s travel plans would be affected by the planned demos.
  • On Monday, scores of learners in uniform were spotted at various matatu termini in Nairobi.

There was confusion among parents on Monday regarding the date for the half-term break, as many feared that their children’s travel plans would be affected by the anti-Finance Bill 2024 planned to Tuesday.

On Monday, scores of learners in uniform were spotted at various matatu termini in Nairobi as they headed home.

Many said their break was brought forward so that they may get home safely before the protests begin. The protests are planned for Tuesday and Thursday this week. 

According to the Ministry of Education, learners in all schools are meant to break for half-term from June 26 to 28 2024. Some callers sought to find out from the Nation's news desk if the date had been changed. 

Speaking to the Nation on Monday, Education cabinet secretary Ezekiel Machogu said that the learners will take the break from Wednesday and return to school on Monday next week, as earlier scheduled.

“That’s the official date and school principals are already aware of that,” Machogu said.

The Nation has also established that a meeting was held on Sunday by senior education officials where the issue of the half-term was discussed.

A source told the Nation that no formal communication was issued but school administrations were left to decide on the most appropriate time to release learners.

However, it was agreed that no learners would be allowed to go home on Tuesday to protect them from the demonstrations.

There were numerous messages on social media to the effect that the dates have been revised. However, the authenticity of these messages could not be confirmed. 

Last month, the Ministry of Education pushed forward the dates for half-term by a week, citing the delayed reopening of schools following heavy rains across the country in April and May. 

Pre-primary, primary and secondary schools were originally scheduled to break for half-term last week - June 20 to 23 2024.

Just before schools reopened, Dr Kipsang said the second term of the school calendar will not be prolonged, following consultations between the Ministry of Education and heads of schools.

However, he did not completely rule out the possibility of an extension of the term, stating that the ministry would “continuously monitor the progress of learning” as the term progresses. Dr Kipsang said that the time lost is recoverable.