CS Magoha pushes schools reopening to Thursday

Education Cabinet Secretary Prof. George Magoha

Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Teachers and parents now want the Ministry of Education to consider postponing the second term and this year’s national exams saying that this year’s general elections have greatly affected academic activities.

Speaking to the Nation after the Ministry postponed schools reopening from Monday to Thursday to allow the presidential post tally to be announced, the teachers and parents said, schools should be given more time to complete the syllabus.

The Chief Principal Ribe Boys, Kilifi County, Mr Benson Manoo said the closure of schools was denying them time to teach.

“This term was supposed to be 10 weeks, but two weeks have been subtracted. That means syllabus coverage has been seriously compromised and schools cannot expect to complete their syllabus within this term,” he said.

Mr Manoo said this being the second term, the third term will be exam time and that would mean that candidates will sit for exams when they are not ready.

“Our view is that let the ministry relook at the term days so that we do not disadvantage the candidates as they are seriously affected,” said Mr Manoo.

The Principal Tabacha secondary, Kisii County, Mr Amos Maroria said long closure will affect the preparations of Grade Six, Standard Eight and Form Four candidates.

“Generally it has paralysed academic programmes for this term, but again the situation was inevitable because schools could not be opened when presidential results have not been released,” he said.

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha in a press statement Saturday announced that due to the ongoing tallying of election results, schools reopening will not happen on Monday as earlier announced.

“Following the conduct of our National Elections on Tuesday, August 9, 2022, the process of tallying of ballots is still ongoing. Therefore following further consultations, I hereby convey the government decision on the suspension of the reopening of all basic education institutions with effect from Monday, August 15 until Thursday, August 18, 2022,” said Prof Magoha in the statement

The reopening of schools was initially meant for Thursday last week, however, the CS postponed it to Monday.

Mr Faustine Kitili Masila chairman parents association AIC Kyondoni girls-Kitui County said the ministry needs to come up with clear dates before making any announcements to avoid confusing parents.

He said, by Friday, some parents had booked bus tickets for their children after the Monday dates were announced which they will now have to cancel.

“Parents from my school were prepared to take their children to school on Monday, but now that the presidential results have not been announced, they will have to cancel the booked tickets,” he said.

Mr Masila said the ministry should also postpone the dates for national exams to ensure candidates are fully prepared.

Speaking to the Nation, the Kenya Union of Post Primary Teachers (Kuppet) secretary general Akelo Misori said now that the Ministry has extended the closure by two weeks, the CS should also extend the term by a similar number of days.

Mr Misori also asked the ministry to consider postponing the administration of national examinations so that students do not sit exams under a very squeezed schedule to complete the syllabus.

“There was already a compression of this academic calendar due to Covid 19 pandemic and we cannot compress again, what needs to be done is an extension of the term,” he said.

Mr Misori said the Ministry of Education needs to be consulting widely in the future because national elections need to be given enough time.

“The minister is now coming into the reality of what he is obtaining from the ground, political issues must be given sufficient space and that is what he needed to have planned with,” he said.

The Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) secretary general Collins Oyuu said the postponement of school reopening is welcome.

“Given the squeezed term dates, we know when these children went back to school and when they are supposed to do their national exams and therefore teachers have no issue in completing the syllabus,” said Mr Oyuu.

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