By Augustine Oduor
Secondary School Head Teachers in Kenya now want the election date be set for December 2012 as opposed to March 2013 to avoid a clash with the school calendar.
The over 6,000 Secondary School Heads from across the country holding their 37th annual conference at the Wild Waters Center in Mombasa also want to be involved in voter education in the run up to general election.
They said a March 2013 poll as was announced by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission will interfere with the school calendar and asked the Commission to re consider the date.
The educators also demanded that teachers wishing to vie for certain positions be granted temporary leave to contest and be allowed to return when they lose elections because of the growing teacher shortage.
The call comes as parents also rejected the March election date as announced by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission and barely a day after education minister Mutula Kilonzo said the current placement of the general election in the month of March will greatly interfere with studies for students.
The minister said it would be better that the election date be changed with respect to the school term so that studies are not disrupted in future.
Speaking on Monday, the school heads said teachers have for many years participated as election officials and noted that such a national exercise will keep teachers away from school and disrupt learning process.
Election date options
Even though teacher unions have spoken against the poll date, this is the first time individual teachers have come out strongly to reject the election date.
But in a speech read on his behalf by Joel Aboga, IEBC chairman Isaack Hassan said the Commissions position on the election date is known but said other options are still open.
“The Commission ignited a debate by telling its position. But there are many options subject to many other reasons,” he said.
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