NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 28 – Deputy President William Ruto and Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i have ruled out proposals calling for the closure of schools, in spite of the wave of unrest that has hit many secondary schools.
The Deputy President stated that the measures being implemented by Ministry of Education will continue and asked stakeholders to support government.
“A joint committee appointed by the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government move fast to conclude investigations into the 2016 school fires to reveal the root cause(s) of the unrest in affected schools. The committee should develop a clear implementation matrix for all their recommendations,” read a joint statement released after a meeting between the representatives of the Ministry of Education, the clergy and Kenya Secondary School Heads Association, Kenya Primary Schools Heads Association and National Cohesion and Integration Commission.
Matiang’i urged school heads to finalise the normal school calendar to allow students to sit the end-of-term exams.
Public schools are expected to end the second term on August 12.
The consultative forum also agreed to convene a National Stakeholders’ Conference on Schools Management on September 23, to deliberate on, among others, how best to create a conducive learning environment.
CORD MPs led by Senate Minority Leader Moses Wetangula had earlier called for the closure of the schools in order to avoid further destruction of property.
“As the CORD coalition, we demand the ongoing school fires be declared a national disaster, an immediate closure of all schools to avoid further inexplicable destruction of property, the country be told who the perpetrators of these acts are, action be taken and a proper mechanism be put in place to ensure such incidents do not happen again in future,” said the CORD Co-principal.
ODM Chairman John Mbadi and Wiper’s Hassan Omar Hassan joined over 15 legislators issuing the statement where they said keeping the students in schools amid escalating arsons is putting their lives at risk.
Dormitories in more than 115 schools have been burnt for the past two months.
Giant teachers union Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) and Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) had last week suggested that the schools be closed because students are unhappy with extending of terms.
Matiang’i termed the Union officials suggestion a knee-jerk reaction which cannot bring long term solutions to the ongoing burning of schools across the country.
He said that the issue has not been brought about the new rules he introduced a few months ago, including extension of school terms and banning of school visits and prayers.