Why Teachers Want Boarding Schools Phased Out

  • A teacher in a classroom
    A teacher with pupils in a classroom.
  • Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) has asked the government to phase out boarding schools completely in areas prone to violence and insecurity.

    Acting KUPPET secretary-general Moses Nthurima argued that teachers working in such areas were feeling overworked and overburden as they have to play a double role of being both the parent and teacher.

    “We have realised there is no complementarity between the efforts of the teachers and parents because once learners leave for boarding school, they return home after three months, and are often foreigners to their parents. 

    "We want the efforts consolidated by having learners go home in the evening so that when they go to school they have an input from the parent and then they find the teacher,” Nthurima stated.

    A Kenyan teacher with pupils in class

    He noted that the State should begin by reducing the number of boarding schools before ultimately phasing them out.

    Furthermore, Nthurima asked that teachers be provided with security training and be armed with guns. This, he noted, would scare away attackers.

    "We are repeating this demand that in the pockets of insecurity, teachers must be trained and provided with guns. You cannot confront a gun man with a chalk," he said.

    Nthurima pointed out that teachers risked their lives travelling to schools on a daily basis and hence should be paid risk allowance.

    "We demand that teachers are paid risk allowances. Teachers are constantly facing threats from learners and even parents and also pockets of insecurity," he stated.

    A number of teachers have been killed in the North and Coast regions by bandits and even terrorists. Insecurity in areas such as Baringo and Turkana has been a cause for concern for area residents.

    This prompted teachers’ unions such as Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) and KUPPET to threaten to withdraw teachers from the risk prone areas if the situation is not brought under control. 

    There has been a worrying trend of violence and rebellion among students. Recent cases of dormitories been burnt, attacks on teachers and other students have raised questions on the effective parental role. 

    Education CS George Magoha laid blame on parents for tolerating unruly behaviour in their children instead of dishing out tough love. He cited that the majority of parents left the parental responsibility to teachers.

    Education CS George Magoha addresses the media in Embu County on Friday, January 15, 2021