Parents within the Nyanza region in Kenya have expressed their displeasure following the closure of 174 schools with unsafe facilities.
In the spirit of rebellion towards the “injustice” meted on them, hundreds of their children who have been affected by the crackdown are yet to report to their new alternative schools.
Most of the schools affected by the crackdown are privately owned.
They have not however been duly registered or ensured the safety of the learners.
KNUT has also pointed a finger at the Ministry of Education for being biased against private schools.
The union has therefore challenged the ministry to also crack down public schools that do not meet the set standards. The ministry should go for public schools first before going after private learning institutions.
It does not have to be private schools only since there are public schools that do not equally meet the par.
In Kisumu for instance, 22 private schools have been closed down. According to Mr Atebe Isaac the County Director of Education, all the schools shut down were either not registered or their infrastructure was wanting.
Besides, the schools lack qualified and duly registered teachers.
In Migori town around 30 primary schools have been shut down.
In Siaya County, the Director of Education JK Wachomo has confirmed that 25 schools have already been shut down while two others have been served with a notice.
So far, 174 schools have been closed down within Nyanza.
Kisii County is the most affected with 52 schools having been shut down followed by Migori county with 42.
Other counties that are affected include Kisumu (22), Nyamira (14), Siaya (25) and Homabay (19)
Unfortunately, the hundreds of children affected by the closure have not resumed studies in their alternative schools.
According to the County Education Director Pius Ng’oma, the affected schools failed to improve the learning conditions to ensure the safety of learners.
Besides, some of the academy schools have not submitted their registration certificates despite the ample time given to them to put their houses in order.
If a school shifts its location, changes status or increases its admission rate, it should seek re-registration.
Mr Ng’oma further said that the schools have got serious infrastructural issues and most teachers are not registered by the Teachers Service Commission.
He also cautioned that more than 100 out of the 400 private schools in Kisii are likely to be closed down.
The County Director of Education Ms Elizabeth Otieno has also confirmed that the schools affected had not met the par set for public institutions.
She also assured parents about their children’s safety since the ministry of public works and health is doing its job.
SAFETY AND QUALITY
Despite the ongoing protests about the crackdown, Professor Magoha and the Ministry of Education at large must continue with their work.
It is a God-given responsibility since they are out there to safeguard a treasure, life.
Parents should, therefore, support the ministry’s efforts in ensuring that their children get access to quality education.
A school with untrained teachers is a desert of knowledge!