, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 5 – A new parents lobby group has been unveiled after the disbandment of the Kenya National Association of Parents (KNAP).
The new organisation will be called the National Association of Parents and will be chaired by Nicholas Maiyo who was elected earlier Wednesday.
Maiyo garnered 23 votes against his closest competitor John Kathangu in hotly contested elections held at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD).
“I am very happy that the parents’ association members elected me as their chairman. Actually it was a very hotly contested election, it was free and fair, it was done in the best way and I emerged the winner. I thank all those who voted for me and I promise that I will work for every parent in this country,” he stated.
The Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) General Secretary Akelo Misori has welcomed the new association, saying it will address challenges facing parents in the education sector.
“I think it is laudable to be present here for this very significant event in our education institution in this country. We have had people masquerading in the past that they are representing parents and talking about education matters and contributing to confusion,” he stated. “But I think this a very strategic and deliberate attempt to bring order,” Misori said.
According to Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, the association would strictly be made of parents who have students and pupils in schools and its chairman elected by 47 delegates from the counties.
He said the association would work closely with the ministry to ensure that parents have a voice in education matters.
Early this year, Matiang’i declared the Musau Ndunda led Kenya National Association of Parents a moribund outfit.
The CS specifically observed that KNAP was at the time operating contrary to the provisions of the Basic Education Act, 2013.
The law seeks to oversee its very establishment as a parents representative body in Kenya’s education sector.
The Act, in its Third and Fourth schedules respectively, specifically deals with issues to do with formation, composition and functions of schools’ Parents Associations and Boards of Management (BOMs), both of which are structurally distinct but functionally linked.
Part 5 of the Third Schedule of the Act categorically states that there shall be established National Parents Associations, County Parents Associations and Sub-County Parents Associations elected by Parents Associations from schools through a delegate system.
Part 1 of the same schedule provides that every public and private secondary schools in Kenya shall establish a parents association that brings on board every parent with a child in the concerned school, as well as a representative of teachers in that school.
It is, therefore, legally abundantly evident that Part 1 of the Third Schedule of the Basic Education Act, 2013 does give life to Part 5 of the same Schedule.
Sometime in the last quarter of 2015, KNAP, with explicit knowledge of schools’ administrators, did visit all public secondary schools throughout the country calling upon parents to a meeting at which the main agenda was election of parents representatives to schools Parents Associations and BOMs.
The elections however fell short of the dictates of the Basic Education Act, 2013.