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Rongo couple put on surveillance over home schooling

By Japheth Ogila | Jan 21st 2020 | 2 min read

A couple in Rongo, Migori County, have been put on surveillance by the Children Welfare Department after it emerged that they were not taking their children to school as required by the law.

Kenneth Tolo and Alvine Ogallo have two boys aged 15 and 7 years, and a girl aged 14 years who should be in primary school.

In a document from the Ministry of Labour under the State Department for Social Protection, the two were faulted for keeping their children away from school contrary to the Children’s Act 2001. The law requires parents to ensure that children have access to education and social protection, and the government is obligated to intervene in situations where such rights have been violated.

The document indicates that Mr Tolo escaped arrest and the case was reported at Kamagambo Police Station under OB number 28/10/01/2020.

Mrs Ogallo then swore an affidavit committing to taking the children to Dorcas Memorial Academy where they were to report on January 16, 2020. After this, the police, local administration, and the children department would monitor the learning progress of the children. Their mother agreed to stay at Kodero Bara, a nearby village to monitor them.

This was after their paternal grandmother, Christabel Okoth agreed to take custody of the children from January 14, 2020.

At the time of publishing the article, the Standard Digital call to Mr Tolo was not going through and his wife Mrs Ogallo failed to pick up her calls.

Yesterday, a court in Butali, Kakamega County, suspended and criminal case in which parents were accused of failing to enroll their children in a school and instead opted to homeschool them.

Judge Weldon Korir issued a temporary order stopping the criminal case against Silas Shikwekwe.

Shikwekwe was accused of abdicating his duty to enroll his children in school as enshrined in the law.  However, he filed an application challenging the law criminalizing homeschooling. The Judge gave prosecution and the accused 90 days to come up with alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.

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