Learning set to resume after elections
Schools are expected to resume learning tomorrow after a two-week break to allow the August 9 General Election period.
Primary and secondary schools were closed on August 2, three days earlier than initial date i scheduled for half-term break.
Education Cabinet Secretary, Prof George Magoha over the weekend pushed the date once again to August 18 since the process of tallying was still going on.
“Following the conduct of our National Elections on August 9, the process of tallying of ballots is still ongoing. Therefore, following further consultations, I hereby convey the Government’s decision on the suspension of the re-opening of all basic education institutions with effect from Monday, August 15 until Thursday August 18. This communication supersedes any earlier communication on the re-opening of basic education institutions,” the CS said on August 13.
Since the Independent and Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) announced the election results on Monday, there has been relative calm across the country.
Kenyans will however be waiting for the outcome of an election petition to be filed in court by the Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya coalition, who have said they will pursue all available constitutional options to invalidate the presidential results announced.
When he issued a statement on August 2, the CS explained the immediate closure was to ensure preparations and conduct of elections was carried out seamlessly.
“Schools and parents are advised to ensure that learners from all basic education institutions proceed on their half-term effective August 2 and resume on August 11,” the CS said in a statement on August 1.
The August 11 date was just two days after the elections and education stakeholders raised concerns over its viability.
But just a day to August 11, Magoha issued yet another communication saying the date had been pushed to August 15.
“We have been informed that the process of tallying of ballots may still be ongoing on the aforementioned date (August 11). Therefore, following further consultations, I hereby convey the Government’s decision that Basic Education Institutions will re- open from Monday, August 15,” said the CS in a statement on August 10.
“We apologise for any inconvenience occasioned by these changes and ask for your indulgence, as we work through ensuring the safety and comfort of learners through this period,” he added.
The second half of the term is expected to run until September 16 according to the revised Ministry of Education calendar set to cover the lost time during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Third term is then scheduled to start on September 26 up to November 11, with only the examination classes expected to remain in school.
The Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination and Kenya Primary School Education Assessment (KPSEA) are to be taken for three days from November 28 while the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) from December 1.
Already, the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) has raised concern over the changing dates saying it is a sad state of affairs, given the immense financial and logistical factors involved in the re-opening of schools.
Kuppet Secretary General Akelo Misori said the Minister must issue a statement on the comprehensive term dates for schools for the rest of the year to remedy the situation.
Given the unpredictability of the changes, he stated that education stakeholders are uncertain whether the Minister will adhere to the new date, since the election programme is still unfolding.
As a result, schools, parents and learners find it hard to make plans based on the latest announcement.
“On August 1, KUPPET expressed our utter concern at the spontaneous announcement by Magoha, closing schools for the elections. The decision was universally condemned by all education stakeholders, none of which was consulted in its making,” said Misori, in a statement.
“Barely a week later, the Minister reversed himself on the proposed re-opening date he had decreed. Since then, he has reviewed the date twice, this time calling on schools to resume on Thursday August,” he added.