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New Public School Board Members To Be Vetted During Nominations

Public schools should begin the process of replacing their boards of management ahead of the expiry of their term in February 2022, following the latest directive by the Ministry of Education.

Unlike in the past, all the new board members will be vetted at the nomination stage. This new development could have been influenced by a consistent breach of government fees guidelines and escalating cases of indiscipline in public schools.

It has been confirmed that the government is determined to clean up all school boards to kick out members, who have presided over the continued disregard of ministry guidelines and policies.

In a memo to all County Directors of Education, Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha has given nomination timelines and the deadline for presenting the list of new board members for approval.

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Apart from the school boards, Magoha informs in the October 4th memo that County Education Boards and should be replaced since they have existed for four years.

“According to Section 22 of the Basic Education Act, 2013, the tenure of service for the chairperson and members of the County education boards is four years and three years respectively,” said Magoha.

Among other functions, the County Education Boards, collaborate with the Board of Management, the Principal, the Head Teacher, and other appropriate authorities in the management of schools.

They also coordinate and monitor education and training in the County on behalf of the national government and the county government.

The names of respective nominees to the boards should be forwarded on or before November 30.

“The purpose of this letter is to advise to as you to start the process of nominations and selection for appointment of new County Education Boards in accordance with section 20(1) (a-k) and School Boards of Management in accordance with Section 55 of the Basic Education Act, 2013,” said the CS.

According to the Act, the school board comprises six persons elected to represent parents of the pupils in the school or local community in the case of county secondary schools.

These are: one nominated by the County Education Board, one representative of the teaching staff in the school elected by the teachers and three representatives of sponsors of the school.

Further, one person representing special interest groups in the community, one person to represent persons with special needs and a representative of the students’ council who shall be an ex officio member, will also sit on the board.

The Board of Management may from time to time co-opt into its membership such persons as it is satisfied possess skills and experience to assist in the discharge of the Board’s functions.

Basic Education PS Jwan Julius said they anticipate the new teams coming in the school boards will streamline the management.

“Nominations shall be done at school level but we are keen to see persons who are committed to implementing Ministry guidelines and policies,” said Jwan.

He added: “We only want to see members who have been committed to implementing government policies given second chance to sit on those boards.”

School heads, who are the secretaries to the boards of management, have recently come in sharp focus for not adhering to the fees guidelines even after Ministry issued circulars.

Some of the heads have also been listed for overseeing increasing cases of indiscipline which has resulted in school fires and other ills in schools.

And now, Ministry says those who will sit in the boards must be competent.

County Directors of Education who spoke yesterday said they will vet chairpersons of the boards, as they lead a unit that makes school decisions.

“We know that some heads of schools will want to push out those who have stood on their path to doing bad things and reward those who support their ill ways,” said one of the directors.

After the nominations, the Act under Section 56 (4) says that the members of the Board of Management shall elect their chairperson from amongst themselves.

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