Secondary school head teachers have called on Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha to convene an urgent meeting to salvage the academic calendar that has been squeezed by the August 9 General Election.
The Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association chairman Kahi Indimuli yesterday said they need to find a way forward for the education sector that has been disrupted by political events.
He said any further postponement of the reopening of schools could deal a blow to the academic calendar more so preparations for national examinations in December as well as transition from the 8-4-4 system to the competency-based curriculum.
He warned that the delays had impacted on candidates and Grade Six learners who are set to join junior secondary as the first cohort of the CBC.
“As per the academic calendar, students had started preparations for examinations, which is the most important period for candidates. If we delay further, the CS may need to call a meeting to discuss the way forward. We’ll see if we’ll be able to sit exams in December,” Mr Indimuli told the press in Nairobi.
He recalled how the education sector academic calender was hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, which forced the closure of schools for nine months.
“We were just recovering, trying to catch up with the lost time. These delays will make us lose all the gains we had made,” he said.
Mr Magoha had first said schools would reopen on August 11, before pushing the same to August 15. He later revised the date to August 18.
According to the ministry, schools were set to close on September 16 for the second term and reopen on September 26 for the third term, ahead of national exams in November.
The Kenya National Examination Council was scheduled to open the Grade Six assessment portal from today to August 30 for learners to select junior secondary schools for placement.
“Any further delay would mean we may not be ready to salvage the academic calender to get the students ready for the December examinations and we may also end up delaying the transition,” said Mr Indimuli.
Kenya National Union of Teachers Secretary-General Collins Oyuu said the schedule should not be altered further as the final year learners are preparing for exams in November.
However, Kenya Union of Post-Primary Teachers Secretary-General Akelo Misori said Mr Magoha should extend the term by a similar number of days as well as postpone national examinations.
Mr Indimuli, also the Principal of Machakos School, asked his colleagues to be available to receive any students who may report today.
“We know some parents had been preparing to take students to school on Monday and may have already booked bus tickets for their children to travel, especially those in national and boarding schools away from home,” he said.
“I am sure some parents haven’t heard about the postponement and we may be getting students arriving on Monday,” he added.