Form 1 Admission: Class Eight Students to Secondary Schools

Here in my country, completion of primary school education by sitting for the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education and for those who excel. They get an opportunity to proceed to secondary school education. So during last year’s admission of the K.C.P.E students to various public secondary schools, there were complains of government having favored children from the public schools. This meant a lot of children from private schools who had performed well did not get places in national schools as those from public schools had no problem getting admission to schools of their choice.

But this time round, I heard in the news of a parent complaining that her son had been sent an admission letter for a girl’s boarding school yet he was a boy putting them on a dilemma on what to do next. Her cry to the government was her son to get a place in school that was in his selection category since he had performed well.

Elsewhere a girl was admitted to a distant day school which her mother complained was very far from her home and so commuting on a daily basis would be a problem. She further added the school is located in an area where getting a vehicle to even get to school on time difficult.

The education Cabinet Secretary has always been adamant that admission to various public schools in the country is very fair. But what will become of the children’s future? Imagine a case of a child who was carried shoulder high for being a top performer only for him/her to be slammed for joining a school of choice on grounds of being a private school child.

If the government is committed to giving the children quality education, then let’s see bright changes in our public schools so as we can trust them once again.

Parents Sue The Government Over Runaway School Fees In High Schools

With school head teachers holding Kenya‘s education system for ransom, parents —who have known for a long time how the government has abandoned them– have decided to seek for justice from the judiciary over payment of ‘overly’ hiked school fees charges in public High Schools.

Since the government is the overall body manning the running of all public schools, it has been the hope of parents that it ought to come in and bring sanity to the education sector.

I remember sometimes last year, the Deputy President was adamant that school heads charging high fees will face the full force of the law but so far nothing has been done.

But just yesterday, parents made up their mind to sue the government due to a repeat of the same issue of hiked school fees. The government maintains the education is free but I think there is something that parents are not being told.

More questions arise from the issue of smooth learning of schools. It’s true the government reimburses funds meant for schools but whether they are enough or not, it remains a secret and it’s not known what the funds really cover.

May be the government is hiding behind the ‘free education’ yet parents are still expected to part with something.

Looking at high cost of living, it may mean that the school head teachers are left with no option but to charge school fees in line with what is demand. But then even school heads have been in the past in the receiving end when the funds are released very late and yet they are expected to ensure smooth learning of schools.

I think the best thing to be done is to establish if the government fully funds everything that is required for smooth learning of schools. Parents want a situation where they are sure what happens but not relying on ‘maybe’. Let them know whether they are supposed to like buy textbooks for their children as the government covers everything that is required for smooth learning.

Public Schools Performing Poorly Because…

As the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education was released early yesterday, it was evident that children from the public schools had performed poorer that their private school counterparts. According to the Education Cabinet Secretary (C.S), Professor Fred Matiangi, teachers were to largely blame for the decline in mean grade since they had abandoned the children as far as their learning needs are concerned. The C.S also said that it was sad that some counties registered 70% absenteeism and so this could only reflect what students in such schools were losing in terms of learning.

But then there were other reports that the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) being the teacher’s employer was also to blame for the bad results reflected in public schools. The reason given here was that the TSC had demotivated the teachers for failing to grant pay increase bearing in mind that their current salary is not enough.

In other reports another speaker, an official in the Ministry of Education said that head teachers were also to blame since they are responsible for quality assurance and so it was clear that they were not doing their work. She went ahead and said the head teachers should not be popular with the teachers under them anymore but should rather look for performance from the teaching staff.

But then it’s the hope of every parent that the government will embark on a serious mission to establish why public schools are lagging behind in the national examinations. The poor performance is something of concern since it becomes the best option for those who cannot be able to access quality education in private schools. Let’s see more in terms of resources distribution because empty talk will not bring real improvement not unless something is done to rectify the current situation. Once corrective measures are put in place, and then we can expect to get better results in future.

Schools Closed as The Standoff Between The State and Teachers Leaves Children Helpless

English: During the Wikipedia for schools pilo...

During the Wikipedia for schools pilot project by Wikimedia Kenya in Mombasa. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The kidogo kidogo (little by little) government has decided to go an extra mile to force the striking teachers back to class. The standoff between the government and teachers started when the Supreme Court awarded teachers a 50 to 60  percent salary increment.

The government has from then stood firm saying that it does not have the money to pay salaries at that much. The president was categorical that the government has no money and therefore, it can’t pay and won’t pay teachers. This is to say the court order was defied by  the president whose sole responsibility is to protect the constitution of Kenya…. Abide by the law.

Now it is a third week since the strike began, threats against teachers have not succeeded forcing the government to close all schools in Kenya. Private schools were not spared either.

The private schools association has already moved to court barring the ministry of education’s directive to close all schools. According to them, the kadogo government has no right to deny students a right to have good education. And that the standoff between teachers in public schools can’t affect the smooth running of private schools.

According to the cabinet secretary to the ministry of education, this move is necessary because private schools are taking in striking teachers— a reason why teachers have refused to get back to class.

From Monday 21st September, all learning facilities will remain closed in Kenya. The only window allowed by the ministry of education is for those students who will be sitting for their certificate examinations for Class eight in Primary level and for Form Four in High Schools.

Well, maybe the ministry of education thought it has won this battle! However, teachers have vowed that they will not mark the end-year most important exams unless the government does something really quick to end the strike.

Who will win? I guess the government is to blame for being so arrogant in handling this issue. The government is run by professionals, but how they are handling this strike is like they are newbies in this game.

Where did we go wrong? We changed the constitution of the republic of KENYA. We did it! But it seems the people we employed to implement it are new to this game. That is where we went wrong.

Have your say!

The Government Moves in To Regulate School Fees

Parents have for the past one year been complaining that the school head teachers were charging very high school fees that financially stressed them. I remember at one time the deputy president said that he wondered how secondary schools could charge higher fees than even public universities. He had thus put such head teachers on notice telling them that what they were doing was not good.

They are even those who went ahead and said that some private schools were charging fairly given by the fact that they are responsible for employing their teachers unlike public schools that got some finances from the government. So there were many unanswered questions concerning school fees as most parents felt it was about to reach a time when they will not afford to educate their children if the government keeps mum concerning school fees issues.

Sometimes last week, the Ministry of Education stepped its mandate and gave all the head teachers guidelines outlining what their fees structure should be like. This was not taken well by the teachers union boss who said that the Education Cabinet Secretary had no right to roll out such a guideline since it was not in the best interest of the smooth running of schools. The schools heads on the other hand complained that over 1000 teachers employed by most school boards risk loosing their jobs. This is because the trimmed schools budget will not be able to cater for such teachers.

The Education CS has been accused of not consulting anyone when it comes to matters pertaining education. Whatever that he did, I think he ought to have consulted the head teachers for one because they are responsible for their learning institution’s budget. This is because such an action may after all affect the smooth running of the schools affairs.

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