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Education stakeholders reject proposed school management regulations

15 May 2015, 11:13 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi – Key players in the education sector have rejected the Ministry of Education’s proposed 2015 Basic Education Regulations on grounds that were not fully involved as per the Constitution.

The teachers’ unions, the secondary and primary school heads association officials who appeared before the Delegated Legislation committee of Senate to explain why they are opposed to the new gazetted Education regulations maintained that proposed enactments should be dismissed to allow for a fresh, all-inclusive and agreeable legislative process.     

The Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) chairman, Omboko Milemba told the committee that the regulations contain gaps in addressing key issues in the education sector such as disregarding the strengthening of special needs schools and unclear specification of the schools and training institutions’ academic calendar.

“We have seen gaps in these regulations. The regulations ignore the teachers’ unions and the parents and teachers’ association (PTA) in the management of schools and brings in unrecognized parents’ association. The unspecified academic calendar for schools brings confusion and we suspect the Cabinet Secretary wants to walk it in his pocket for intimidation in case of a strike crisis," said Milemba.

He warned that the Cabinet Secretary’s direct involvement in the management of schools through the boards of management as proposed in the regulations will interfere with schools’ operations through unwanted hiring and firing of schools heads, which is the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) role, on unjustified mismanagement claims.  

Read Also: Kenya's education ranked the best in east Africa

Milemba reiterated that the Education ministry is constitutionally supposed to offer policy measures in the sector and not interfering with the independent TSC’s management roles.

“The Act lacks punishment to anyone who contravenes the proposed Basic Education regulations and some people may do mistakes and walk scot free. Such contentious provisions in the Act manifest the old order hangover when the ministry played key roles in the management of schools and direct supervision of teachers,” said Milemba.

“The Cabinet Secretary is defending his officers who want to go back to the old system where they used to take tea in schools and solicit bribes by issuing threats to teachers. Their cow went and have nowhere to milk after realized changes in the 2012/13 Basic Education Act,” he added.

The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) chairman, Mudzo Nzili claimed that although the ministry at some time involved the stakeholders, anyone who questioned a contentious provision was perceived as an enemy to transition and was shot down.

“The regulations needed to be all-inclusive and the ministry ignored the Constitution Implementation Commission’s earlier advice stopping it from proceeding with the legislation as it was unconstitutional. However, the ministry went ahead and gazetted the regulations,” said Nzili.

“We ask the President to relieve us from embarrassment by moving the Education Cabinet Secretary, Jacob Kaimenyi to another ministry such as Environment where he can deal with trees but not initiating regulations to affect the education sector,” he added.

The Secondary School Heads Association (KESSHA) chairman, John Awiti who also opposed the regulations proposed that the government should provide security officers to schools for heads and boards of management to ensure students are safe.

“The supervisory schools’ board of management and a technical person will have to oversight the deployed security officers and explain security lapses in case of an attack to students,” said Awiti.

The Senate committee said they will summon the Education ministry Cabinet Secretary to hear his side on the regulations before coming up with its resolution, whether to accept or reject its enforcement.

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