CS Magoha Given Deadline to Reopen Schools

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    Education CS George Magoha addresses MPs in Parliament on March 14, 2019
  • Education CS George Magoha has been given an ultimatum to repoen schools or face legal action.

    Parents, in a demand letter by lawyer Harrison Kinyajui, gave CS Magoha until August 18, 2020 to open schools by September 1, 2020.

    They accused him of discriminating against children on the basis of their age, yet adults were conducting business as usual. 

    Lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui outside Millimani Law Courts
    Lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui outside Millimani Law Courts

    "It is not lost to these parents that simultaneous with your declaration of closure of schools, other adult persons in Kenya continue to enjoy the daily realization of their dreams, work schedules, business expansion, and aspirations over the same period; you have unlawfully discriminated against the voiceless school-enrolled, school-going children solely on account of their age," the document read. 

    They claimed that the CS had no consideration for the welfare and the best interests of Kenyan children, and was serving foreign interests.

    They cited the irony that children were being allowed to attend to all manner of activities including open-air markets, supermarkets, cafeterias, places of worship but not schools. 

    The parents also cited the confusion regarding the proposed January 2021 reopening, the CS having admitted that the closure could last past the said date.

    "The overwhelming majority of Kenyan parents are ready and willing to provide their children with education as mandated by statutory but your ministry is the blockade irrationally standing in the way," the demand letter stated. 

    The document raised concerns that the psychological and mental torture inflicted on school-going Kenyan children in
    consequence of the open-ended closure of schools was gravely injurious to them. 

    The parents also faulted the announcement that learners would have to repeat their studies in 2021

    "Your ministry has purported to launch online learning programs that remain a pipe dream across Kenya. 

    "Your ministry has to accept the harsh truth that you are injuring helpless children and in fact abusing your power to force these children to stay at home against the wishes of the overwhelming majority of parents and rational stakeholders," the parents criticised. 

    File image of a congested classroom in Kenya