NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 14 – The Kenya National Parents Association on Monday called for the postponement of national examinations due to the ongoing teachers strike.
The association’s Secretary General Musau Ndunda said candidates in public schools would be disadvantaged should the exams go on as scheduled, given teachers have been on strike for the last three weeks.
He said the candidates needed the time to prepare for the exams which he said were no “casual affair” as intimated, he accused, by Education Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi.
“Let’s not pretend to ourselves that those exams did not shape our destinies,” he said.
He also admonished what he described as Kaimenyi’s, “laissez faire attitude,” toward the effects of the strike on candidates.
“You need trained professionals to administer exams. You cannot deploy NYS,” he said.
He said the Executive had dropped the ball by failing to honour the court directive to increase public school teachers’ pay by half and by making “careless statements.”
“Court orders are not negotiable. You cannot comply with court orders only when it’s convenient yet those of us who cannot afford to take our children to private school are forced to deny our children their constitutionally enshrined right to education,” he said.
The association also faulted the National Assembly for failing to pass the funds required to effect the pay increment.
Ndunda said the association would therefore be moving to court on either Wednesday or Thursday in the bid to have the exam dates changed and to have the Ministry of Education directed to officially close schools until the stalemate between them and the striking teachers is resolved.
“We shall also be suing the Attorney General and the Teachers Service Commission for misadvising the President,” he said.
Ndunda also demanded a refund of all public school fees paid for the last three weeks during which no structured learning has taken place.
“There is nothing happening at the grass-root level. Don’t let the school buses you see in Nairobi fool you,” he directed at President Uhuru Kenyatta.
He said it was, “high time,” the persistent wrangles between government and public school teachers over pay were put to rest.
“These strikes have become a perennial occurrence. They’ve gone on so long that those who were in school when they started are now working.”
The association’s demand for a deferment of the 2015 Kenya certificate of primary and secondary school examinations came as the Teachers Service Commission said it would withhold the striking teachers’ September pay for no services rendered.