Magoha Protests Demands Issued by School Heads

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    Education CS George Magoha addresses MPs in Parliament on March 14, 2019
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  • Education CS George Magoha complained over the demands issued by school heads after Grade 4 assessment exams commenced. 

    The CS took issue with the fact that headteachers were piling pressure on both students and parents, with some of the demands being outrageous. Parents had raised concern that they were being pushed to purchase some items that were not listed by Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) for the Competency-Based-Curriculum (CBC). 

    "No one should pressure our children as they are sitting assessment tests and not examinations. Even parents must stop putting pressure on the learners because these are not the main examinations.

    "KNEC has already provided guidelines on this important assessment, which is part of the successful implementation of the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC)," the CS said. 

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    Pupils at a class in St. Monica Primary School in TransNzoia County in January 2021
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    Parents added that they were asked to avail material such as old shirts, shoes, short sticks, polythene papers, vegetables, cereals and groceries for agriculture tests. 

    For some other courses like Home Science and Arts, the guardians were asked to provide extra materials that were not listed by KNEC. 

    "Schools are totally opposing our agreement and are now pushing us to buy other items. We had agreed they use local materials," National Parents Association Chairman Nicholas Maiyo said, adding that the Covid-19 pandemic has strained the financial status of parents. 

    KNEC reiterated that teachers ought to follow the list and use readily available materials, while the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) urged its officials to ensure the tests were undertaken in a fair environment. 

    "All field officers should offer support to schools and make sure that teachers access the Knec assessment tools and administer them to their learners appropriately. 

    "The tests should be conducted during normal class hours and all learners should not be put under any tense atmosphere," TSC CEO Nancy Macharia directed. 

    As Magoha grapples with the Grade 4 tests, schools are facing imminent closure ahead of the KCPE/KCSE national exams. Headteachers warned the CS that they would shut down schools lest he avails the required Ksh 15 billion education funds. 

    “We have not received the money and principals who have spoken with me said they will start closing schools as early as today if the money is not sent to their accounts,” Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association chairman Kahi Indimuli said recalling that Magoha promised to provide the funds a week before the exams are conducted.

    File image of KCSE students preparing for an exam
    File image of KCSE students preparing for an exam
    File