School Heads Blame MOE For Student Unrest, As Kuppet Insists Scrapping Boarding Schools
Secondary school students have been pushed to the edge by a demanding crash programme, leading to an undesirable wave of student unrest across the country.
This forced School heads, who were blaming the unrests on the ministry of education, to demand for a half-term break to ease the pressure caused by the tight schedule which was introduced to make up for the time lost during the six-month closure of schools last year. Whereas other terms since school reopening have had, this doesn’t have any.
“Children have a tendency of asking for certain things in certain ways. We shouldn’t wait for other schools to be burnt down before we approve a break.We had not envisaged this, but when you see the escalation even in schools with no such a history, there’s a problem. Such a wave can become contagious,” said Kahi Indimuli, the chairperson of the Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association (Kessha).
“We’ve written to the Ministry of Education, requesting a break because it’s necessary based on the information we’re getting from our members,” said Indimuli, hours before the ministry released a circular on half term break.
Indimuli also demanded for the resumption of co-curricular activities like games, drama and music, which were suspended as measures to stop the spread of Covid-19.
“We forgot that we have students who have a lot of energy and they look forward to participating in these events,” argued Indimuli.
So far unrests and fire incidences have been recorded at Buruburu Girls’ High in Nairobi County, Chavakali High School in Vihiga County, Gendia Boys High in Homa Bay County, Molo Academy in Nakuru county, Dr Krapf Memorial (Kilifi), St Peter’s Abwao Secondary (Migori), Sigalame Boys High (Busia), Kanjuri High (Nyeri), St Ignatius Mukumu Boys Secondary (Kakamega), Amasago Boys Secondary in Kisii County and Keveye Girls High (Vihiga). 24 learners from two schools in Nyeri county have also been arraigned on charges of arson and/or possession of drugs.
On his part, the secretary-general of the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet), Mr Akelo Misori, has singled out over-enrolment in boarding schools as a possible cause of disciplinary issues.
“Are boarding schools still relevant? We’ve insisted on boarding schools but failed to provide sufficient infrastructure,” he argued.
According to Misori, 100 per cent transition policy, although commendable, has not been matched with infrastructure expansion.
“Schools are congested. Teachers don’t even know their students and in such a case, it’s difficult to monitor their discipline. You can’t have peace when they queue to have lunch, use the toilet and even to shower,” he said.