NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 15 – Education Minister Mutula Kilonzo has reiterated that strong disciplinary action will be taken against any public or private school ignoring the directive abolishing holiday tuition.
Kilonzo said on Wednesday that the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) Code of Conduct bars a public officer from charging or accepting any fee for tuition of a student, even if it is given outside official working hours.
He indicated that any head teacher entertaining the practice will be punished and the School Boards of Management will be dissolved.
“If you really want to spend time with a Kenyan child during holidays, organise holiday camps or some other such things,” he said.
He said that he has written to the TSC to ensure that all head teachers comply with the ban on holiday tuition. He explained that the extra tuition schools provide during holidays is a gross abuse of the rights of children, under the Constitution.
“The Constitution at Article 53 does not say that the rights of a child are limited to public or private schools. It is every Kenyan child. The Article says that the interests of a child are paramount in all situations where an issue affecting a child arises and therefore I tell you without fear that the law that we are going to bring forth will criminalise these tuitions whether you are in public or private school,” he said.
He further stated that students should be afforded an opportunity to relax since the curriculum developed can be covered over a specific period of time.
“I will speak for the child because it is a complete violation of everything that is known. Remember that even the code of conduct for teachers says no teacher should accept that sort of money,” he said.
“The time for parenting has arrived. You have to parent this child during the holidays or send him to a holiday camp.”
He emphasised that learners should be accorded an opportunity to relax, and learn important social skills through interactions as this is very important in coping with the world of work and the complexities of modern life when they come of age.
“Professionally, extra coaching or tuition is given to learners who show weakness in certain subjects. Such learners need remedial teaching to compensate the lapses they suffer from in learning ability, compared with their classmates. This is what constitutes remedial teaching and does not involve payment by parents,” he stated.
“This is part and parcel of the calling of a teacher. It is in fact a violation of the teachers’ code of ethics to either provide extra tuition to such learners at a fee and/or, decline to provide it when payment is not forthcoming,” he said.
He stated that providing remedial teaching to an entire class contradicts the principle that underlies the process.