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Private school association faults school closure directive

Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang. Photo/ MIKE KARIUKI

Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang. Photo/ MIKE KARIUKI

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 18 – The Kenya Private Schools Association Chairman Ernest Wangai has described as ‘extremely serious’ the directive by the Ministry of Education to close schools on Monday.

He told Capital FM News that the Association called an emergency meeting for Friday evening in order to determine their next steps.

The private schools association chairman says the directive to close private schools where learning has not been affected by the teachers’ strike has far reaching consequences.

Wangai says the government should have consulted the private school heads before taking the unilateral decision as some of them have loans to pay off. “They haven’t even considered the parents.”

READ: Govt orders closure of all schools due to teachers strike

But the Kenya National Association of Parents through its Chairman Musau Ndunda had on Tuesday demanded that the Ministry of Education close schools, “to avoid anxiety.”

“I’m sure newspapers have made a lot of money from parents eager to find out the status of the public school teachers’ strike,” Ndunda said.

He also supported the closure of private schools saying the public school teachers’ strike gave their students undue advantage.

He did however demand a refund of fees paid for the days when no learning will take place. “If those millions are left in school accounts then we see it as robbery without violence.”

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He told Capital FM News that the Association is also still considering moving to court for a postponement of the national exams despite the release of the exam timetable on Friday morning.

“Examination is life. We are here because we did exams and we cannot cheat ourselves, we cannot take national exams so casually that they will go on and yet we are not sure about the uncertainty of the strike that is going on in our schools.”

READ: KCSE, KCPE goes on despite teachers’ strike

When giving the directive for the closure of schools, Education Secretary Leah Rotich explained that it was due to security concerns occasioned by the public school teachers’ strike that enters its fourth week on Monday.

“Some incidences of insecurity in schools have been reported by Heads of Institutions and Field Officers during the said period,” she stated in a notification to head teachers.

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