As schools prepare for their national examinations, Saboti Member of Parliament David Lazaro has opposed the directive from Education Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i of banning prayer days in secondary schools especially during the third term.
The MP said this at a fund drive organized at Kitale polytechnic, where he said the Education CS had erred in his remarks, insisting that the main purpose of Prayer days was to encourage students and nourish them spiritually.
The Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i had also said that school heads are responsible when it comes to the supervision of exams for the candidates during the exam period, a directive that attracted criticism from several quarters.
Lazaro castigated the directive, saying it doesn’t make sense and that the CS didn’t consult stakeholders in the Education sector.
He said that banning schools visits by parents under the pretext of examination cheating has no basis as the directive is only aimed at punishing students in boarding schools given that they won’t be able to get vital advice and support from their parents, something which is vital in the examination and psychological preparation. He said as a result of this, the morale of some students will be affected.He added that students who study in day schools have an advantage because they can interact with family on a daily basis. “How can the CS ban third term visits in boarding schools in the entire country without involving stakeholders in the education sector? Such a directive should be opposed by all people and the CS should discuss the issue with relevant bodies,” said Lazaro.
The MP said the CS had decided to work as a lone ranger, given his directives didn’t go down well with stakeholders in the Education sector. He said if there was exam cheating, day school students would have been more culpable given they normally stay with their family and friends more, but that isn’t the case. He advised the CS to look for other meaningful ways of guarding against Examination cheating by using better measures that consider the opinions from everyone in the education sector, instead of making controversial directives.
He said parents are the most important people when it comes to offering guidance and psychological, advice’s to the young ones especially during examination period and it would be wise if the CS rescinds on the directive he made concerning third term visits as it has helped improve the working relationship between the candidates and teachers in several schools.
His sentiments were supported by Trans Nzoia Women Representative Janet Nangabo who wanted all education stakeholders to be involved in matters concerning education within the country. She faulted CS Matiangi’s directive, citing that they only used to happen during the KANU regime.
She lamented the high number of girls who are dropping out of school due to early pregnancies. The cases have been on the rise within the county and she appealed to the parents to ensure that they take their daughters to school.
She warned that those who will be found defiling or impregnating girls will face the stern face of justice, adding that girls should be valued and respected in the community. She also criticized parents for the rising defilement cases, revealing that the parents prefer to be given money from the defilers instead of pursuing justice for the defiled children, “This has been a problem to you parents , you use the opportunity to solicit for money from the culprits, we shall not allow this,” said Nangabo.