Jacob Kaimenyi bans mocks to arrest student strike wave

By: OUMA WANZALA

The government has banned mock exams in schools in a bid to contain rising cases of student unrest.

Education Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi on Thursday said schools would only be allowed to set and administer internal tests, saying mocks were exerting unnecessary pressure on learners.

“We have to do away with the many mock examinations in schools, from sub-county to county mock examinations,” he said.

He made the remarks at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development in Nairobi during a stakeholders’ forum on school unrest.

STRIKE WAVE

Student strikes have rocked Embu, Nakuru, Taita-Taveta, Kilifi, Kiambu, Nyeri, Machakos , Kericho, Busia, Bomet and Migori counties.

Prof Kaimenyi directed county directors of education to reject mock examinations initiated by governors across the country.

He also directed school boards of management to collaborate in enforcement of discipline.

“All county education boards must be firm but fair in ensuring the safety of learners and school properties, including taking legal action where found necessary and appropriate,” he said.

STUDENT UNREST

During the forum, it emerged that most schools were attributing student unrest to electrical faults without carrying out any investigations.

A report by the ministry also revealed that a majority of cases of violence were linked to mocks while others were blamed on lack of avenues for students to express their concerns.

The report by Director of Secondary and Tertiary Education Robert Masese further states that retaining weak performers in school for remedial lessons and poor handling of disciplinary cases by teachers were fuelling strikes.

KIOSKS TO GO

Prof Kaimenyi also announced that the government would implement two past reports on school unrest as he cautioned against holiday tuition.

They are the Task Force on Student Discipline and Unrest in Secondary Schools, dated September 2001, by Naomy Wangai, and the Parliamentary Departmental Committee on the Inquiry into Student Unrest and Strikes in Secondary Schools, dated July 2008.

Their recommendations include involving students in governance, banning district and county mocks, training school administrators, counselling, removing kiosks put up next to schools and banning cell phones in schools, among others.