KUPPET protests immediate closure of schools
Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) has raised concern over immediate closure of schools in Kenya by Education Cabinet Secretary Prof. George Magoha stating that as a union they were not consulted.
The Union’s Secretary General Akelo Misori, in an immediate statement released this evening, stated that the School Calendar is not a property of the CS and termed the closure of schools as a casual move which leaves the parents in quagmire.
“KUPPET is extremely concerned by the casual manner in which the Ministry of Education has announced the closure of schools for the elections. The school calendar is not a property of the Cabinet Secretary for Education which he can shuffle as he wishes. The calendar is a pertinent planning tool for schools, parents and learners themselves,” said Misori in the statement.
Misori added that the CS knew the election date is set in the Constitution as August 9,2022 and that schools would be used as polling stations.
He stated that the union wasn’t consulted and that the closure will seriously disrupt the delivery of the curriculum, since most schools had scheduled internal examinations ahead of the original closure date which was August 6, 2022, and parents especially those with children in boarding schools had organised logistics for their travel based on the original calendar.
“The CS asserted that his unilateral decision came after “further consultations”. The immediate question is consultation with who? Any stakeholder with a legitimate interest in the school calendar would have advised against the hasty decision,” said Misori.
To salvage the situation, Misori states that CS must immediately consult stakeholders on when schools should re-open; adding that in KUPPET’s view, Monday August 15, 2022 seems more plausible for re-opening.
“Most shockingly, the Minister wants schools to re-open on 10 August – the day after the election! This is outright impractical, since the elections will take nearly a week to conclude. Moreover, parents need reasonable time to assess whether their children can travel and settle in schools safely,” stated Misori.
Early today, Prof. Magoha instructed basic education institutions to be closed from tomorrow Tuesday August 2, 2022 to pave way for the upcoming General Elections and resume Thursday August 11, 2022
“Following consultation, I hereby convey the Government’s decision on the immediate closure of all basic education institutions from Tuesday August 2, 2022 until Wednesday August 10,2022 to ensure that preparations and conduct of upcoming elections is carried out seamlessly,” Prof Magoha said in a statement.
In an earlier statement, schools were supposed to be closed from Friday August 6, 2022 for a one-week half term.
The dates are tentative and are subject to change in the event of a repeat of presidential elections which may also affect the national examinations scheduled for end of this year.