Magoha rules out extension of school calendar amid pressure
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha has affirmed that national examinations will be administered as scheduled.
Prof Magoha said the ministry is keen to ensure the school calendar normalises in January, and so far, there are no plans to make adjustments even in the midst of an uncertain political environment.
“It is our sincere prayer exams will be done as scheduled. Exam is usually carried out to gauge the student, and, therefore, nobody is expected to get 100 per cent,” he said.
The CS, who made the remarks at Bomu Secondary School in Mombasa after opening Competency-Based Curriculum classrooms, urged candidates to continue preparing for the tests.
The remarks come against the backdrop of a section of education stakeholders calling for an extension of the school calendar to recover for the time lost during the General Election where learners had to take a break of about two weeks.
Schools are expected to cover for lost time in the next four weeks, as the second term is expected to end on September 16.
They will then take a one-week break before they can resume for third term starting September 26. “In terms of children going back to school, a few that are still coming back are welcome,” the CS said.
Last week, Magoha said schools will not be closed in the event of a repeat election in a bid to cover for the lost time in the already constrained academic calendar.
“When the time comes for Government to proclaim itself on certain situations, for example, if there is an election that will take a day, we are not going to ask our children in boarding schools to go home again. It is far much wiser to ensure learners in boarding schools remain but keep off classrooms where voting will be taking place,” he explained.
Magoha further noted that the ministry will continue working with the Independent and Electoral Boundaries Commission, as he suggested that institutions of higher learning be used as tallying centres.
He also assured that exams are ready and when the new Government takes over, they will concentrate on other issues they may want to do differently.
The CS also assured that the examination council’s portal is open for Grade Six learners to select their Junior Secondary School until August 30 and should there be need to extend it, they will consider so at a later date.
Kenya Certificate of Primary Education and Kenya Primary School Education Assessment for Grade Six is scheduled for end of November while Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education will be written in December.
He made the remarks even as he warned that parents will bear the burden of rebuilding schools razed down by learners.
“If you think burning of a school will make you not do exams, you are cheating yourself, you must do the exam even if it’ is under a tree,” said Magoha.
His remarks came following a Saturday morning fire that razed a dormitory at the Kisumu Boy’s High School, just a day after schools re-opened.
Magoha also urged school managers to be mindful of the economic burden parents are enduring.
He sent a stern warning to school heads not to send home children with fees arrears until the end of the year. “The economy is extremely difficult for most parents, therefore you must not send students home now until the end of the year,” he warned.
Magoha also assured the government’s commitment to roll out Junior Secondary School, saying Grade Six learners must transit without hitches in January next year.
Meanwhile, the CS is this morning expected to launch the re-engineered National Education Management Information System (Nemis) at Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development.
Nemis is a strategic system for capture, storage and retrieval of information regarding learners, educational institutions and other aspects of education policy makers rely on to make decisions in the education sector.
According to the ministry, the re-engineered system has consolidated and improved on the capabilities it has had over the years the Ministry has been using to make strategic and operational decisions.