, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 22 – The High Court has issued a temporary order restraining the Nairobi Education Regional Coordinator from implementing a directive issued by Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi that seeks to merge schools sharing the same parcel of land.
Justice George Odunga has issued the temporary orders following an urgent case by the Kenya National Union of Teachers Nairobi Chapter who argues that the Cabinet Secretary failed to invite public views on the intended policy.
The Teacher’s Union also says head teachers and principals were not given notice or time to discuss the policy directive with parents and sponsors of the affected schools which also dissolves Board of Management.
The move, justice Odunga heard renders the announcement not only illegal but unconstitutional.
“There was no consultation or public participation prior to the announcement and introduction of the policy to merge the management of the co-existing schools,” states the petitioner.
The petitioner adds that head teachers and principals were not given any notice or time to discuss Matiang’i’s resolution with parents and sponsors of the affected schools.
They argue that dissolving BOMs and directing for nominations of merged boards by December 19 2017 is tantamount to amending sections of the Basic Education Act which require each public primary and secondary have a BOM.
Some of the schools that were merged under the pilot project include St. Georges Girls Secondary and St. Georges Primary School.
The Boards of Nairobi Milimani Primary and Secondary School’s have also been merged.
Danson Macharia, Executive Secretary of KNUT, Nairobi Chapter, says the merger will affect representation of members of the parents Teachers Association (PTA) which is likely to disadvantage one level.
Macharia claims there’s no legal provision permitting CS Matiang’i to merge BOMs.
“The merger is likely to occasion conflict in regard to existing liabilities (debts) incurred by the respective primary and secondary schools,” he states.
Earlier in the month, during the launch of form one selection, Matiangi directed that two schools sitting on the same parcel of land be placed under one head teacher while each unit would have a deputy head teacher.
According to Matiangi the move will minimize the time the Ministry spends on resolving conflicts over boundaries, use of facilities such as sports grounds and social amenities among others.