Headteachers Issue Demands on Scrapping Boarding Schools

  • Students at Kanyawanga High School take part in charity activities on Monday, October 25, 2021.
    Students at Kanyawanga High School take part in charity activities on Monday, October 25, 2021.
    Citizen Digital
  • Headteachers have adopted a new way of taming unrest in schools issuing new demands to the national government over the fate of boarding institutions in the country.

    In the latest move, representatives of the Kenya Primary Schools Headteachers Association (KePSHA) are now pushing the ministry of education to scrap boarding schools especially for secondary schools students with an aim of curbing cases of indiscipline that have skyrocketed in the recent months.

    In their lists of demands, they have rooted for day schools that will allow parents to be active determinants of the student's discipline and tame cases of indiscipline in secondary schools.

    A student scavenges through the remnants of a past fire accident
    A student scavenges through the remnants of a past fire accident
    FILE

    Teachers justifying their move blamed parents for neglecting their core role in disciplining students contributing to the upsurge of the cases.

    "KEPSHA proposes that secondary schools become day schools so that parents are involved in raising their children," they stated in a statement presented by National Secretary Philip Mitei during a delegates’ conference in Mombasa on Thursday, December 30.

    "We will collaborate with the Kenya National Parents’ Association to promote strong partnership, coordination, and parental engagement to help children’s re-entry to schools and 100 percent transition from primary to secondary," their statement added.

    KEPSHA chairperson Johnson Nzioka supported the demands by the headteachers noting that the collaboration between teachers and parents will be essential in curbing cases of unrest in the institutions ahead of the 2022 schools reopening.

    “The kind of misbehaviour children have in secondary schools shall only be curbed by letting children be with their parents most of the time for guidance and counseling,” said Nzioka.

    Nzioka added: “As the child goes home, they are guided and at school, they find a different kind of guidance from teachers. We can instill discipline together. We shall have no more burning of schools.” 

    Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (KUPPETt)  also raised the same concerns noting that the national government should consider converting the existing boarding schools to day schools.

    “Boarding schools have been overtaken by time. It is a colonial idea. We cannot sustain them. What we need is free and compulsory education for all learners,” KUPPET acting Secretary-General Moses Nthurima stated.

    This comes just a day after Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha stated that students who are interested in going back to school should remain with their parents at home. On the issue of abolishing boarding schools, Magoha stated that the decision can only be arrived at after proper consultation with the relevant stakeholders.

    “First of all, before we talk about indiscipline, we should ask ourselves whether we need boarding schools or not? In an ideal society where people are normal, boarding schools are supposed to flourish, isn’t it? But it is society to decide whether they continue to be there or not."

    He insisted that the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) would be key in curbing indiscipline in the future as it would give grounding to the school system.

    The suggestions and demands also come at a time when education stakeholders were mulling plans to introduce corporal punishment in schools, a move that is still gaining momentum ahead of schools reopening for third term next week.

    Education CS George Magoha speaking at a KICD conference in Nairobi on Tuesday, September 14, 2021
    Education CS George Magoha speaking at a KICD conference in Nairobi on Tuesday, September 14, 2021
    Capital Group
    accident fire