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Seven schools shut down as state intensifies crackdown

By Edward Kosut | October 5th 2019
Amani Secondary School in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County. It is one of the seven schools that were closed. (Peter Ochieng, Standard)

Education officials have shut down seven private schools in Uasin Gishu County, suspected to be unregistered to operate as learning institutions.

The officials said yesterday after an inspection of 17 schools in the county that the seven schools did not meet the required standards.

Uasin Gishu County Director of Education Mbaga Gitonga said the schools had no adequate academic facilities, including science laboratories, play grounds and toilets. “The schools lack laboratories and toilets which are basic requirements in any learning institution.

“The schools instead erected shades for students to use as toilets,” Gitonga said.

Among the schools shut down are St Ebenezer Kindergarten and Amani Secondary School located in the densely populated Langas estate in Eldoret.

At Ebenezer Kindergarten, children were taught in small, mud-walled classrooms with broken desks and tables, which education officials said were unsafe.

“Classrooms are dingy, have poor ventilation and not conducive for effective learning. The kind of learning environment according to our assessment exposes children to health problems,” said Gitonga.

At Amani Secondary School with a total of 68 students, among them 28 KCSE candidates scheduled to sit the national examination in barely a month’s time, classrooms are also poorly ventilated.

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The school’s laboratory was an unequipped room.

The county education boss said the students will be relocated to neighbouring public schools.

“Students should not be worried about where they will sit their KCSE exam because the government is taking steps to take them to other learning institutions as soon as possible, without interfering with their studies,” said Gitonga.

He urged affected students to wait for communication from ministry officials, assuring them that they will be moved to schools within Eldoret.

Gitonga said several schools in Uasin Gishu County were established without following government regulations.

“We have established that school proprietors converted rental houses into classrooms without laboratories, libraries, desks and books,” he said.

He said some private schools had hired teachers not registered by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), casting doubts on the quality of education offered in the institutions.

“It is a requirement for any teacher working in Kenyan schools to have a TSC number to justify that he or she is a qualified teacher,” Mbaga said, adding that the inspection exercise will continue and will cover the entire county.

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