The Kenya secondary school heads association (KESSHA) has opposed the new reforms proposed by the cabinet secretary for education Fred Matiang’i arguing it will bring more white elephants in most of the schools.
Speaking to the media Bungoma county chairman for KESSHA Richard Sabwami Keya said this decision definitely will plunge schools into an unprecedented management crisis.
He said the CS directive on buying books for schools may create every awkward scenario in most of the schools. The chair said schools may receive books which may not be of importance to the students.
“We have schools that have not yet started computer lessons but what kind of picture is the school going to have if the ministry is going to go by its reforms?” Sabwami asked
He said there is inadequate integration of positive values and attitudes in the curriculum and general education delivery mechanism which should involve both the stakeholders.
According to KESSHA chair schools buy books relating to the demands as per subject and the population of the school.
However the chair also urged the CS to invite other members on board to wire out the exam cheating in the country. He differed with the new reforms saying they may not give a clear solution to the vice.
He lamented that what the minister has done is trying to medicate a cancerous problem with pain killers. He should carry out a surgery in the whole system involved in the examination.
“We understand that securing examinations and ensuring they are credible requires a lot more than changing examination dates, but we have to start from somewhere if we are to succeed in reforming the education sector,” he said.
Sabwami said most schools are church sponsored and being a God-fearing nation and therefore, scrap prayers, may cause conflict of interest between the school management and the churches.
He said the guidelines issued by the CS will not solve examination cheating unless he cracks the whip on officials at the examination body.
Saint Patrick secondary school principal in Bumula constituency Wycliffe Namianya urged the CS to involve the heads in purchases of book through a proper mechanism to prevent white elephants.
Namianya beliefs that the school heads should be given a mandate present their requisitions concerning the school demand.
“The heads are going to have rough time in managing the schools if what the CS does what he said.” Namianya said.
Although Namianya supported the idea of the ministry in buying the books, urged the CS to efficiently supply the books on time to ease the burden on parents for buying books.
Mr. Namianya also lamented on the delays of free day secondary school education funds on time to allow smooth running of the schools. He said the programs in schools have been paralyzed due to lack of funds.
“80%of the schools are day school and the delays may lead the heads to send home the students.” Namianya said.
Same sentiment was echoed by KNUT general secretary for Kabuchai sub county Moses Masika who opposed the extension of second term terming it a violation of children’s right.
According to him KNUT is deeply concerned about the directive, which seems to be executed under duress born out of political pressure and activism from civil society.
The KNUT secretary rejected the structure saying trade unions were not consulted and asked the CS to convene a meeting of the stakeholders to avert a likely crisis in education sector.
“We do reject the proposals and term the document dishonest and bordering on provocation. The teachers have the authority to incur expenditure which is an independent we must have a way to ensure they account for the resources that are allocated to schools.” Masika said.
However, criticized the reforms urging the CS to reverse it and allow the unions and other stakeholders to have time on it.