George Magoha: School calendar will not be altered

Education CS Prof George Maghoha waters a tree at Ofafa Jericho High School, Nairobi on August 2022. [Denis Kibuchi, Standard]

The Government has issued fresh guidelines to safeguard the school calendar and guard national examinations timelines.

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha said the school calendar shall not be delayed any further as it may cause another round of learning disruptions. Magoha maintained that the national examinations will be held as scheduled.

He said that should the presidential election be successfully challenged in court, and a repeat poll ordered, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission should find alternative polling centers in tertiary institutions.

“If the tallying of votes is supposed to, let’s say, take place at a secondary school, we want to urge IEBC to relocate the tallying centre to institutions of higher learning. This will avert the loss of more time in the academic calendar,” Magoha said.

Magoha was speaking on Wednesday at Ofafa Jericho High School, Nairobi. He maintained this would avert the loss of more time in the already constrained academic calendar. Evans Ngadi, a teacher at Gatoto Primary School in Nairobi said that in case of a re-run, learners will be affected most.

“The only fear we have is if there will be a run-off in the presidential race. The extension of the mid-term means we shall miss 70 lessons for the two weeks as it stands which will at last affect the syllabus,” Ngadi said.

Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers Secretary General Akelo Misori said the sector is worried that Magoha may shift the opening date again.

‘‘Given the unpredictability of the changes, stakeholders are uncertain whether the SC will adhere to the new date, since the election programme is still unfolding. As a result, schools, parents and learners find it hard to make plans based on the latest announcement,’’ Misori stated.

Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association chairman Kahi Indimuli warned that a prolonged closure of schools would affect students. Indimuli appealed to the CS to convene a crisis meeting to address the concerns raised by headteachers, arguing that should the school reopening be pushed any further, students would have trouble preparing for national examinations.

“If we delay further, the CS may need to call a meeting to discuss the way forward. We will see if we will be able to sit exams in December,” Indimuli said.

Magoha yesterday affirmed that there will be no more delays saying schools will open today as early planned, and further delay will affect the learners.

 ‘‘We have a lot to be covered within the remaining period and holding learners an extra day at home will really cost schools in preparing candidates for the coming examinations. Children will be back in school by tomorrow,’’ Magoha added.

The CS further said in future, the ministry would prefer to retain pupils in school than send them home during an election.

“In the near future, the most important thing we shall consider is our children’s safety. For example, children in boarding schools will not be sent home, they can be told to play and remain in hostels,” Magoha stated.

The Government has issued fresh guidelines to safeguard the school calendar and guard national examinations timelines.

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha said the school calendar shall not be delayed any further as it may cause another round of learning disruptions. Magoha maintained that the national examinations will be held as scheduled.

He said that should the presidential election be successfully challenged in court, and a repeat poll ordered, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission should find alternative polling centers in tertiary institutions.

“If the tallying of votes is supposed to, let’s say, take place at a secondary school, we want to urge IEBC to relocate the tallying centre to institutions of higher learning. This will avert the loss of more time in the academic calendar,” Magoha said.

Magoha was speaking on Wednesday at Ofafa Jericho High School, Nairobi. He maintained this would avert the loss of more time in the already constrained academic calendar. Evans Ngadi, a teacher at Gatoto Primary School in Nairobi said that in case of a re-run, learners will be affected most.

“The only fear we have is if there will be a run-off in the presidential race. The extension of the mid-term means we shall miss 70 lessons for the two weeks as it stands which will at last affect the syllabus,” Ngadi said.

Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers Secretary General Akelo Misori said the sector is worried that Magoha may shift the opening date again.

‘‘Given the unpredictability of the changes, stakeholders are uncertain whether the SC will adhere to the new date, since the election programme is still unfolding. As a result, schools, parents and learners find it hard to make plans based on the latest announcement,’’ Misori stated.

Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association chairman Kahi Indimuli warned that a prolonged closure of schools would affect students. Indimuli appealed to the CS to convene a crisis meeting to address the concerns raised by headteachers, arguing that should the school reopening be pushed any further, students would have trouble preparing for national examinations.

“If we delay further, the CS may need to call a meeting to discuss the way forward. We will see if we will be able to sit exams in December,” Indimuli said.

Magoha yesterday affirmed that there will be no more delays saying schools will open today as early planned, and further delay will affect the learners.

 ‘‘We have a lot to be covered within the remaining period and holding learners an extra day at home will really cost schools in preparing candidates for the coming examinations. Children will be back in school by tomorrow,’’ Magoha added.

The CS further said in future, the ministry would prefer to retain pupils in school than send them home during an election.

“In the near future, the most important thing we shall consider is our children’s safety. For example, children in boarding schools will not be sent home, they can be told to play and remain in hostels,” Magoha stated.