In Summary
  • Politicians — mostly Members of County Assemblies in Makueni, West Pokot and Bungoma counties — have in recent days led protests during which headteachers were violently ejected from schools.
  • Five members of Makueni County Assembly were Friday charged with incitement to violence and conspiring to injure the reputation and undermining the authority of a public officer.
  • Dr Matiang’i also cautioned principals of day secondary schools against charging parents extra levies.
  • All the vehicles must also be fitted with seat belts in line with the Traffic Amendment Act which was passed by the National Assembly in 2016.

Acting Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i on Friday ordered an intensified crackdown against politicians and other people blocking newly-posted school principals from taking over the schools where they have been posted.

Politicians — mostly Members of County Assemblies in Makueni, West Pokot and Bungoma counties — have in recent days led protests during which headteachers were violently ejected from schools.
Five members of Makueni County Assembly were Friday charged with incitement to violence and conspiring to injure the reputation and undermining the authority of a public officer. The five were arrested earlier in the week after chaos that rocked St Joseph Girls High School in Kibwezi.

While giving the tough order during a meeting at the Kenya School of Government, Dr Matiang’i Friday said: “This nonsense must stop. We have lived with this backward behaviour for far too long. If we allow this behaviour to continue, then we might start having cases where MCAs will be dictating to us who the OCS (officer commanding the police station), county commissioners of even regional commissioners should be.”

SECURITY MEETING
He was addressing regional and county commissioners during security meeting also attended by county directors of education.

“The government will not rescind the decision. They can throw as much tantrums as possible because we are not going to change our mind,” vowed Dr Matiang’i.

According to him, some of the principals had also orchestrated the ejection of their colleagues for the fear that the ills they had committed in the institutions would be exposed by their successors after an audit of books of accounts in some of the affected schools revealed that a number of head teachers had incurred loans running into tens of millions of shillings but could not explain how the money had been spent.

And in a raft of measures aimed at streamlining the education sector ahead of the rollout of the new curriculum, Dr Matiang’i also cautioned principals of day secondary schools against charging parents extra levies apart from those recommended in fee guidelines.

Also to be implemented are the new guidelines requiring all school buses and vans to painted yellow, with the name of the institutions inscribed on the back. This must be before March 30. All the vehicles must also be fitted with seat belts in line with the Traffic Amendment Act which was passed by the National Assembly in 2016.

PROTECT LEARNERS
The vehicles will also be restricted to operate between 6am and 6pm, as the ministry moves to protect learners from accidents and immoral acts. “The influx in accidents in our roads including those vehicles carrying our children can only be tamed if we abide by the rules prescribed,” Dr Matiang’i said.

The Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet), Secretary-General, Mr Akelo Misori, asked the government to shoulder the costs of painting the buses for public schools because “there is no place for parents to contribute.”

He however said teachers had no option on the 6am to 6pm travelling rule but to conform to the requirements.

Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association (Kessha) Chairman Kahi Indimuli also supported the changes but asked the government to address the issue of cost.

LOGBOOKS
“We request the CS to direct that the changes in the logbooks should be free because normally such changes usually come with a cost,” he said and asked insurance companies to accommodate the changes.
The cost of painting a bus averages Sh150,000, according to motor vehicle repairers at Grogan in Nairobi.

School bus

Buses parked at Lenana School. Acting Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has directed that all school buses and vans to painted yellow, with the name of the institutions inscribed on the back. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

The directive by the CS borrows from institutions in the United States and Canada that have their school buses and vans painted yellow. A similar proposal has been mooted in the United Kingdom.

The proposals by the ministry also seeks to give regional and county commissioners the responsibilities to chair county education boards, as well as to coordinate education matters in their regions.

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