Written by Rosemary Wachiye
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Demonstrating students of Ndivisi Boys' High School. [PHOTO|Rosemary Wachiye|West Fm]
Students of Ndivisi Boys' High School early Monday 10th of June, 2013 took to the streets and matched over 35 KM to the office of the District Education Officer to demonstrate against the untimely transfer of their Head Teacher Mr. Moses Mukenya.
The group of over 150 students in unison opposed the Head teacher’s transfer which comes only a year after he had joined the school. The school which is a centre of excellence in the district registered improved performance in last year Kenya Certificate for Secondary Examinations KCSE with a mean score of 6.32 marks.
They praised Mr. Mukenya for his devoted leadership that had contributed to improved academic performance in the past year’s national examinations and said that with his leadership they foresee even better performance.
“Our Principal Mr. Mukenya just joined our school last year and since then the school has improved a lot in performance therefore we don’t see the reason why he has to be moved,” said Benjamin Wanyonyi, a form four student.
They said all they sought was for their plea to be heard through peaceful demonstrations and that they had no intentions of destroying property or hurting anyone.
“We did not destroy any facilities in the school, this was just a peaceful walk to the D.E.O’s office to submit our request and we hope that it will be granted,” said Wanyonyi.
The District Staffing Officer Mrs. Butuba explained to the students that the transfer was initiated from the Teacher Service Commission Headquarters in Nairobi and that her office will consult with the head office to be able to solve the issue.
The Kenya National Union of Teachers KNUT led by the Executive Secretary of Bungoma East District Mr. Aggrey Namisi revealed the transfer to have been influenced by political influence from the area Member of Parliament Alfred Sambu.
He condemned political influence in running of schools which he said leads to poor performance in the schools and called upon Sambu to leave the education sector to be run by the set authorities in-charge of education in the district.
“The Chairman of the school board was not in good terms with the principal hence leading to the area MP wanting to send him away,” said Namisi.
Namisi also revealed the transfer to be against the law which does not permit for middle of the year transfers of teachers and called for the relevant authorities involved in the transfer to withdraw it.
“Transfer of teachers are supposed to be done at the end of the year and not at the middle of the year and that in itself tells us just how this transfer is not well founded,” said Namisi.
The District Education Officer Mrs. Immaculate Obare stated the risks involved in students walking on the roadsides in the name of demonstrations and called upon the students to be communicating their grievances through relevant channels in the schools before going out on the streets to demonstrate.
However, County Director for Education Mr. Daniel Mosbei assured the students that his office in consultation with the County TSC office will look into the issue and find its root cause.
Mr. Mosbei convinced the students to return to school after he announced that the Head teacher’s transfer will be revoked at the moment until the two offices discuss the reason for his transfer and find the way forward in the issue.
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