NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 25 – Education Minister Mutula Kilonzo has abolished extra tuition during weekends and holidays.
Speaking during the launch of Education for All (EFA) End Decade Assessment (2001-2010) he said that children should be allowed to engage in extra-curricular activities as the school curriculum can be covered during the normal school days.
“I have criminalized extra tuition… the school curriculum can be covered during the normal school days and should not be extended to weekends or during holidays,” he said.
He added that children should have their own time. “Children should be left to be children,” he said.
He has put teachers on notice that anyone found conducting extra tuition will be prosecuted.
“If anyone is found conducting the extra tuition, they will have to face the law,” he said.
He claimed that some teachers were using it as an economic venture.
“These teachers are my friends but I know some of them were using the extra tuition for economic gain,” he said.
He however says standard eight and form four students will be exempted to allow them prepare for their national examinations.
“The standard eight students and form four students may be exempted to revise for their examinations,” he said.
Mutula added that he is the only minister to side with students whenever a genuine concern is brought forward referring to his recent comments on school girls wearing short skirts which caused uproar amongst Kenyans including the clergy and some sections of parents.
He defended his stand, by quoting Article 53 (2) of the constitution which states: “A child’s best interests are of paramount importance in every matter concerning the child.”
The minister supported the demand to wear short skirts after students of Rwathia Secondary in Murang’a went on a strike a month ago protesting against long skirts.
He supported the girls and said that they were forced to wear uncomfortable uniforms.
“The skirts they were told to wear were very unreasonable. They were too long and these are girls… they need to be comfortable with their dressing for them to be able to concentrate in class,” he asserted.
Kilonzo also ordered County Education Directors to hand in an audit report for the Free Primary Education and Free Secondary Education funds after reports that they had been misused.
“I have given you three weeks to hand in the audit report from your counties and I mean three weeks! I will not allow misuse of money allocated for education which is the pillar of the society,” he said.
The report suggested that some school principals were using money meant for education for their personal gain.