Ban on rallies in schools timely

Monday, June 7th, 2021 00:00 | By
Former Education CS Prof George Magoha. PHOTO/Courtesy

Education ministry is implementing strict timelines to cover for the time lost when schools closed for nine months due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

That is why any further interruption should be avoided by all means.

Basic education institutions are resuming learning today after a three-day half-term break as stakeholders rush to cover the 2020 education calendar.

This year has been designed to have four terms, which further explains the tight timelines.

That is why we find the directive by Education CS George Magoha banning political rallies in learning institutions long overdue.

Firm action, he said, would be taken against those found to flout the ban. Political rallies not only expose the learners to Covid infections but could also disrupt learning. 

Indeed, institutions such as the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) should start reconsidering venues for holding mini-polls.

Similarly, all things held constant, next year’s General Election is supposed to be held on the second Tuesday of August.

This means voting would take place on August 9, which will be in the middle of the schools second term, expected to run from July to September.

Given the magnitude of the elections, schools could be forced to take a break for a few days as most of them are used as voting centres.

Isn’t it about time IEBC started considering alternative voting venues to avoid disrupting learning? 

Magoha’s directive comes at a time when the ministry, through the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), has launched a teachers’ manual for remote learning.

Periods such as during the pandemic, when face-to-face interaction between teachers and learners is either stopped or significantly reduced, alternative delivery modes and pedagogies are required. 

The prolonged disruption of learning brought the need to continuously empower teachers to respond to emerging trends that impact negatively on their practice.

TSC has been encouraging teachers to become innovative in service delivery and inject new ideas and training approaches and remote learning is expected to come in handy.

Every policy framework should be in the best interest of learners. Children should be equipped to fit in the vibrant and ever-changing world. Above all, they should be protected from anything that threatens safety.

And politicians, like other citizens, have a responsibility to play their role by heeding Magoha’s ban.  We demand action of any politician addressing public rallies in schools.

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