Ongoing school unrest is unacceptable, says CS

The ongoing school unrest is unacceptable and criminal in nature and those caught in the act, whether adults or minors, will be taken to court, Education Cabinet Secretary Amb. Amina Mohamed has said.

Amina also clarified that all schools that have been closed due to the ongoing cases of unrest would remain shut, until the government decides they were safe for re-opening, after culprits have been held accountable.

At the same time, the CS said parents would have to take full responsibility of any damages incurred, adding that government would not use taxpayers money to reconstruct the schools.

Speaking on Thursday at a joint consultative meeting of Early Child Development Education (ECDE) Teachers representatives from the 47 counties, Amina said ECDE teachers were the first people to instill knowledge in the young ones, thus it was their responsibility to teach the learners moral values and warn them against vices such as burning of schools at the very early age.

Amina said ECDE was the hallmark for holistic development of children, adding that interventions programmes targeting children’s health care, nutrition, early learning and as well as positive education and social protection were directly linked to their overall social outcome.

What the rioting students are engaged in is simply unacceptable. You cannot destroy properties and expect no punishment, said the CS.

She also stressed that destroying school properties including books and lab equipment and other teaching aids, would be punishing parents or guardians indirectly as they were the very people who would eventually shoulder the responsibility of re-constructing the buildings or buying the new learning aids.

Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Secretary General, Wilson Sossion reiterated CS’ sentiments on the wave of school unrest that has seen dormitories and other school properties set ablaze, saying that that it has reached worrying levels and should be declared a national disaster.

Research on the ongoing student unrest has established that the Ministry of Education and Teachers Service Commission policies which apparently did not go through public participation as required by the law are the major cause of the current strikes, revealed Sossion.

The unionist was categorical that the buck squarely stops with the Ministry of Education and Teachers Service Commission to restore sanity in schools as these were the sole bodies constitutionally mandated in framing policies that regulate school discipline.

However, he asserted that what students were engaged in is criminal in nature and that students should instead exercise civility, while engaging schools administration in addressing their grievances.

Source: Kenya News Agency