Parents' association want second term period reviewed

Former Cabinet Secretary Ministry for Education Fred Matiangi (left) and Chairman National Parents Association Nicholas Kimaiyo after elections held at Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development on Wednesday, Oct 5, 2016. [File, Standard]
The National Parents Association has linked the schools unrest witnessed in the country recently to term dates which they want reviewed by the government.

The National Assembly Education committee on Friday heard the concerns raised by the association chairperson Nicholas Kimaiyo, attributing the new wave of unrests to longest school calendar causing fatigue among student.

Kimaiyo also urged the MPs to ensure the government calls for a meeting with all education stakeholders to review the second term date as one of the measures to curb school unrest.

“Creation of a longer second term creates undue pressure on learners because they are in school over a prolonged period. This is more than the other school terms and are subjected to a greater workload,” said Kimaiyo.

He continued, “We need to sit down and create a time table that is convenient for our children because as it is at the moment, it is tiresome to the students.”

The extension of second term is one of the radical changes made by the former education Cabinet Secretary (CS) Fred Matiang’i during his term in office.

Dr Matiang’i in the wide range of changes to the school calendar made in 2016 said annual general meetings, prize giving ceremonies, thanksgiving and prayer days will be done in second term in order to avoid contacts with candidates preparing for their national examinations.

The association noted that the diminishing role of teachers as mentors of the students has also largely contributed to the school unrest.

“Teachers’ role has nowadays been reduced to teaching only thereby creating a gap on mentorship and management of learners,” he faulted.

He also cited the deprivation of time for sleep and co-curricular activities due to the tight schedule of most schools adversely affects the physical and mental health of the learners.

Kimaiyo blamed the government for inequitable treatment of public schools in terms of allocation of resources for infrastructure, school bus, water and food.

According to Kimaiyo the move makes students from other schools feel inferior and intimidated hence cause unrest in their schools to protest or get the services and resources they need.

“The government should follow the constitutional standard of equity in allocation of resources,” said Kimaiyo.

He said there is a lot of unlawful procurement business within the schools where there is conflict of interest.

“Teachers do business with the same schools they are working in a move which creates discontent among other staff who feel left out,” he singled out.

Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed last week told the committee that 107 schools out of 8,900 public and 1,800 private schools were affected by various forms of student unrest this year.

Last year, there were 123 cases and in 2016, 483 schools were affected. Amina was submitting a report on school unrest to the national assembly committee on education

National Parents AssociationNicholas KimaiyoKenya Institute of Curriculum DevelopmentNational Assembly Education committee