By Augustine Oduor
Secondary school student leaders have asked politicians to shun tribal groupings and sectarian politics ahead of the General Election.
The over 2,000 student leaders drawn from across the 47 counties also said the education reforms by the Ministry of Education will not be meaningful to them if they are not involved in the review process. The students said they are disappointed by their leadersâ choice to rally support through ethnic mobilisation.
"We will never again tolerate the youth being used to fan chaos after elections. As leaders, we want to lead the change we want by promoting unity and speaking against tribalism," said Clifford Kipchumba, the elect president of the Studentsâ Council.
Speaking during the fourth Secondary Student Leaders National Conference at the Bomas of Kenya, the students through their national governing council also asked the Kenya National Examination Council (Knec) to take responsibility for the annual examination leakage.
"Knec must have made a mistake for exam leakage to occur. People to be punished are Knec officials and not students," said Kipchumba.
The Studentsâ Council is part of a leadership programme rolled out in 2008 with the aim of enhancing student participation in school governance.
The council president, who is also a student at Labonet High School, asked leaders to embrace democracy as a way of management. "A majority of us will vote in the next election but we will not allow them to use us to throw stones anymore," he said.
The studentsâ meeting organised by the Kenya Secondary School Heads Association comes as a new survey shows that the adoption of student councils in secondary schools has greatly reduced unrest in schools.
The study indicates that since it was introduced in 2009, there has been a significant drop in cases of school unrest.
Education Assistant Minister Ayiecho Olweny, who opened the five-day conference, said the ministry is keen on enhancing participatory management of schools to avert previous cases of studentsâ unrest.