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Row over education officials’ decision to close school

By Winsley Masese | January 27th 2015

Parents of Chiengu Primary School in Gucha have expressed their frustration with education officials in the region.

Led by board chair William Omabere, the parents said the school's indefinite closure over a disagreement concerning the incoming head teacher is unfortunate.

The parents faulted education officials who went to the school on Friday last week and closed it, without "consulting" them.

These allegations have, however, been discounted by area District Education Officer, George Okeyo.

"We invited the parents' representatives but they failed to show up, hence the need to close the school temporarily," he told The Standard.

Hard pressed to explain why they opted to close the institution, leading to further disruption of the school time table, Okeyo said they had no choice.

Students who reported to school yesterday morning could be seen idling around the compound without a teacher in sight and the school office remained closed.

Bad move

"Pupils have hardly settled in following the teacher's strike and now the school has been closed. We do not know how this lost time will be recovered," Omabere said.

The parents said it is unwise to close the school because of one individual, expressing fear that teachers might not have enough time to cover the syllabus appropriately.

Last week, parents stuck to their guns, rejecting the new teacher on grounds that his past record is wanting.

Omabere said while the leading candidate at the school's 2014 KCPE was 342, that of the incoming head teacher's was 240 points out of a possible 500.

"Our school's mean grade is superior to that of the incoming head master's. We wonder if this transfer is really for the good of our school," he said.

However, Okeyo said the school is notorious in refusing new teachers and mishandles them when they report.

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