MPs Seek to Introduce Day Wing in all Boarding Schools
MPs are seeking the introduction of a day school wing in all public primary and secondary boarding schools.
The legislative proposal presented by Kiminini MP Didmus Barasa was subjected to pre-publication scrutiny by the Education Committee on Wednesday.
Members of the Committee led by Julius Melly said the proposed Basic Education (Amendment) Bill 2023 is good and is in the spirit of CBC.
In his proposal, Barasa noted that lack of boarding fees has denied most needy students to go to their desired schools.
“A public school that is a boarding school may admit a child as a day student where a parent or a guardian makes a request for the child to attend school as a day student and the schools is located within close proximity from the place where the student decides,” the bill reads in part.
This proposal seeks to allow students residing close to schools to opt for day schooling.
This would then call for the amendment of the Basic Education Act 2013.
Barasa proposed the introduction of this part to the Basic Education Act 2013 section 34 (5) which states that no student should be denied admission in a public school.
“Most children drop out and opt for day schools when offered a chance in national schools because they lack boarding fees, which is always the most expensive,” Barasa told the Star.
Currently, most national schools in the country only have the boarding section.
If this proposal is adopted then students will have the option of being day scholars even in national schools.
“Why should a parent spend on a bed and blanket at school yet they have these essentials at home?” he paused.
The Kimilili lawmaker cited examples of countries where boarding schools are restricted to students with disabilities.
“This category of students are those that have challenges going back home every day. So having a day section is something we need to adapt as a country,” he added.
This debate on boarding schools and their affordability began in 2022.
Stakeholders argued that parents should be allowed to take their children to schools where they can afford.
“Children go to day secondary schools and still pass exams. It’s not true that you have to be a boarder in secondary school to pass exams,” he added.
In 2022, Basic Education PS Belio Kipsang ‘ revealed that parents would have to take their primary school children to day school.
“We must create a way in which we can be with our children and the only way is through day schooling. The first nine years of learning that are Grades 1 to 9, the direction that the government is taking will be day schooling,” Kipsang’ said.