, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 2 – Teachers Service Commission Chief Executive Officer Nancy Macharia is on Thursday expected to face MPs to answer questions regarding the effects the wave of school unrest has had on teaching and learning in schools.
The National Assembly Education Committee will be seeking answers from Macharia to know some of the measures the commission has been undertaking to foil future arson attacks in schools.
Macharia is also expected to brief the members of the Julius Melly (Tinderet)-led committee on the progress of implementation of the government’s delocalization policy which has been sharply opposed by some education stakeholders.
Appearing before the committee on Tuesday this week, Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed blamed the wave of school unrest on strain on school hours and asked heads of schools to adhere to the 8am to 3.30pm program as outlined in the ministry’s policy for class hours.
She told MPs that investigations had revealed that some schools force students to attend classes as early as 5.30am and after 5pm, a move that could have frustrated the learners.
She submitted a report detailing other causes of unrest in schools which include inadequate resources, change of management among others which have led to arson cases in over 100 schools countrywide.
“Even as we maintain standards, we must not overstretch our children,” she said.
She said the tight school programmes did not provide time for learners to think or play, saying that school programmes should not make it hard for students to be children.
Nyanza region was the worst affected by the unrest that led to the arrest and prosecution of about 200 suspects who included teachers and students.
Student indiscipline was also attributed to alcohol and drug abuse and frustration that the tight administration of national examinations had made it impossible for them to access examinations a head of sitting for them.
She said cheating in examinations had become an accepted or normal practice, saying it was time the students knew that only hard work and honesty pays in the long run.
She asked managers of schools to have regular meetings where students are allowed to air their views and grievances to the administration without victimization.
She however said the ministry is working on a framework that that will see school atmosphere improved for learners.
Mohamed said the ministry will strengthen guiding and counselling services in schools, saying the service will provide an avenue that will help students the support children need when faced with personal problems.