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Kilifi parents protest forced repetition of mature pupils

By Maureen Ongala | Published Mon, February 5th 2018 at 10:26, Updated February 5th 2018 at 10:36 GMT +3
TSC Chief Executive Officer Nancy Macharia chats with a KCPE candidate.[Photo by Peterson Githaiga/Standard]

Parents have opposed a plan to force 57 pupils to repeat Standard Seven at Mavueni Primary School in Kilifi North constituency.

Head teacher Emmanuel Karuke is said to have made the decision after the students performed poorly in their end-of-term exams.

However, the school has been locked up in a stalemate for one week as parents camped outside the institution demanding the order be reversed.

When The Standard visited the school on Saturday, Mr Karuke said he was unwilling to speak to journalists concerning the matter.

The head teacher remained in his office as pupils and their parents protested outside the school gate.

"I am not allowed speak to the press," Karuke said.

All 57 students are said to have been sent away from the school.

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Most of them are girls aged between 18 and 20. They have repeated either Standard Six or Standard Seven three times or more.

Most of the affected boys are said to be between 20 and 22 years.

Angry parents accused the school management of frustrating pupils in their efforts to improve the institution's mean grade.

They want their children allowed to join Standard Eight so they can finish their primary school education.

Karisa Konde said his 19-year-old son, Fikiri Konde, had been told to repeat Standard Seven.

"This was despite the fact that I had already paid Sh920 registration fee for this year's KCPE examinations. This is not right and the decision should be reversed," he said, adding that he did not know where his son was.

"My son went missing after he was told to repeat the class. He did not like the idea," he said.

"Another problem is that the police will arrest us if they find our children at home. It is Government policy that all children go to school. Yet ours have refused because they are being made to repeat classes. What do we do now? I do not want to go to jail,” he said.

“I don't want my son to repeat again. I will support him so he can finish his primary education, even if he fails KCPE. It will not be the end of the world."

Four times

Elvis Tembo, another parent, said some of the students being forced to repeat classes had already repeated up to four times.

"They should be allowed to complete their primary school education. How does one even force a child to pass? Making them stay in school longer does not help them. Let them move forward," he said.

Nyevu Mwango pleaded with the school to allow her children, aged 20 and 22, move to Standard Eight.

Kadzo Charo said she scored 228 marks out of 500 in her third term Standard Seven exams and was told to repeat.

County education boss Moses Karati said the matter had not been brought to his attention.

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