Members of the Senate Education Committee on Thursday raised concerns over the rise of private illegal schools in the country with claims that some are unauthorized.
Led by nominated Senator Tabitha Mutinda, who singled out South B and South C estates in Nairobi County, the legislators called on the Ministry of Education to investigate such schools and ensure the quality of education is not compromised.
“The people of South B and C are concerned about these schools and what they teach,” Mutinda said.
The Senator said majority of the houses in the area are now being turned into learning institutions teaching adult learners.
“Why do they teach English and Kiswahili? Aren’t these people Kenyans?” she posed.
Mutinda warned that if the matter is not addressed, the quality of education and the security of the residents in South B and South C may be affected.
“I am aware of 256 private schools in the area and you have admitted that in the 118 that are recorded in your ministry, there are 53 which are illegal schools.”
“We are not only talking of an illegality, but we are also talking of a house that operates Class 1 to 8. We need to know if we are having foreigners operating such schools and what action will be taken against them,” she said.
Taita Taveta Senator Johnes Mwaruma and his Murang’a Counterpart Joe Nyutu called on the Ministry of Education to shut down any school operating illegally and those that did not follow the laid down guidelines for registration.
“The guidelines must be followed before the schools are established. We need to be provided with a list of the schools that have complied with the regulations and those that have not. Those that have not complied should be closed immediately,” Mwaruma said.
Nyutu who is also the chairperson of the committee said: “You need to fast track the registration of school. Let professionals be allowed to do their job.”
He also urged for the streaming of registration process.
“If quality assurance and standards officer has recommended registration of a school, if a public health officer has recommended that the school meets the requirement why should a bunch of [farmers] in the name of County Education Board tire the registration process?” he posed.
They spoke during a meeting with Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu who vowed action against illegally established schools.
“We are taking this matter very seriously and any school that will be found to be operating illegally will be closed indefinitely,” he assured.
“The Ministry will not condone substandard illegal schools which compromise the quality of education in the country. We will not only ensure that they are closed but we will also ensure the law is applied where necessary,” Machogu said.