Parents agree to move children from school shut by ministry

By Grace Academy in Rhonda estate, Nakuru, which was closed by Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang last Friday. [Harun Wathari, Standard]

The parents of children learning in By Grace Academy in Nakuru were yesterday prevailed upon by officials from the Ministry of Education to transfer their children to a neighbouring school.

On Friday, Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang had declared the school unsafe and directed its immediate closure, but the defiant parents still took their children to the institution on Monday and yesterday.

“In our observation, the school structures are not unsafe. They are just like our homes. Transferring our children to another school will be costly. The other school is also too far away for such young children,” said Ruth Njeri, a parent.

By Grace Academy had a population of 150 learners from pre-primary to Grade Three.

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Officials from the ministry, led by County Director of Education Lawrence Karuntimi, had a hard time convincing parents why the Government had resolved to close the school.

“It is for the good of these children that the ministry directed the closure of this school. Their safety is at stake and the Government has a responsibility to protect them,” Mr Karuntimi told the parents.

He added: “All teachers at the school were not registered with the Teachers Service Commission. They were also not trained, which is against the law. The school is squeezed in a plot that is 30 feet by 50 feet, which is not proper.”

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After a two-hour meeting, the parents agreed to obey the Government’s directive, with the Education officials assuring them of a smooth transition.

“We understand the hardships the families go through and we are dealing with young children whom we don’t want to suffer. We have planned for a school where they will be admitted,” Karuntimi said.

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But Grace Muhando, the school’s founder and headteacher, faulted the decision saying she should have been given more time to meet the requirements set by the ministry.

“I was in the process of seeking alternative land to set up the school. They should have allowed the learners to continue until the end of the term. Most families come from humble backgrounds and it is their children who will suffer,” Ms Muhando said

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EducationBelio Kipsang