Parents bleat over the Short half term holiday as the new CBC still have drops in the sea
It’s been two years since covid -19 pandemic occurred in Kenya which bought abnomaltly our usual lifestyle including the changes in school calendar.
The calendar requires students to break for holidays starting 26th may for less than a week duration.
Given the current economic situation, parents have wailed over the issues for they’re spending a lot of money in transportation.
In a case of a parent who her child is studying in Mombasa and they are living in Eldoret she spends an average of ksh3500 for transportation which is also high due to oil prices, and still the child in less than a week time will have to go back to school with another ksh 3500 for transport, some extra stationaries and additional shoppings.
Parents feel that school fee is also needed on their children return as their news later demands that a child should go back with school fees for those who have not finished their arrears.
” The holiday is unnecessary, the children have only been in school for a month since they opened school ,in a society like this we feel much safer if they are in school than at home”, A parent said
Some parents suggested that If possible the parents should be allowed to visit their children to reduce homesickness that affects most children who are in boarding school.
“Reduce the holidays but increase leisure time for sports to reduce a lot of pressure by the students and give them Time to rest.” Said a secondary school teacher
Elijah Maiyo the executive secretary of kuppet Uasin Gishu county Said
” In my point of view there should not be an half term but looking at what has happened before,we have heard children participating in burning down of schools due to too much pressure ,under the circumstance, it’s important that children are given a break,Therefore parents should understand and also learn to cope with the situation.”,
He also stated that ” The new calendar is one of it’s own based on what happened two years ago which was COVID 19 pandemic and it’s unfortunate to all of us but we are hoping from next year all will be well”,
Maiyo also suggested that”In future when it’s comes to placement of form one and that’s where the problems is, he said placing children further from their homes creates more problems.”
“Now over the weekend a parent is going to spend around ksh 5000 or even more including attending the academic day for the parents and it’s also not manageable for the students which could have been added to the school fees to reduce the areas” Maiyo said
He also appealed to the ministry of education to consider placement of form one’s to areas that are manageable in terms of transport because it’s unreasonable for a child who is in Eldoret being admitted to a school in Mombasa considering the economic status of the country.
He also arged the government to consider parents in their decision making.
” We are having a crash program because of normalcy to resume next year but as we look at the issue of nationalisation, the parents should also be offered some consideration as we look at their financial capabilities, there are parents who cannot afford the high expenditure that comes with the holidays.” He argued
“There are parents who cannot even afford to travel within Eldoret so traveling beyond the town will be a badden for them” he added
In 2017 the new CBC was implemented to replace the 8.4.4 system but the kuppet director says it still has a drop in the sea.
“I sit in the county education board to private preparations that are being put in place by the government to ensure that secondary school receive the CBC next year”, Maiyo said
On the same Maiyo added that “we have had infrastructure development in terms of class rooms yet it is not enough, Children being in School is not only infrastructure it also requires learning materials and a number of teachers”,
Maiyo confirmed in Uasin Gishu the shortfall of teachers is 50% .
“As we look at the infrastructure we have to look at the availability of teachers and no one seems to have exploited that area,
we don’t have to run into a situations where we have classroom’s with no teachers” he said
“We are going to have many empty lower class rooms because of the class 7 and 8 transition and this might require secondary schools being housed in the primary due to the facilities that includes classrooms, but it will require a new administration because we don’t expect the Headteacher in primary school to also oversees the implementation of CBC in secondary school.”he said
Maiyo also confirmed the placement of junior secondary in Uasin Gishu county has currently not taken place in public schools but private have, because they are seeing this as an opportunity to get children.
According to cabinet minister of education professor George Magoha there is an on ongoing construction of extra classes in preparation for the new curriculum nationwide.
The director affirmed this by saying , “The construction is ongoing and even those classes are ready,others almost ready, and still we will need extra facilities,Next year will have double intake and it will still transit into 2024 , from 2023 to 2026 will have at any one time two classrooms which are double, like next year will have form one and form two double,2024 they’ll proceed to form two as double,and also we have the new form one and also those who are in class seven going to form one in 2024 double and will continue having a double if the form twos move to form three doubles and so we have almost four years of double classes which is calling for a lot of manpower in terms of teachers.”
“We have very little in control over the issues of calendar but ideally what we have done is we have over congested the form fours and there is no need for that, we could have Even spread so that normally will resume in 2024 because they have only six months to their national exams and now the children do not participate in sports because the calenda cannot accommodate all that , we can’t even afford to have zonal exams as for now but we have not lost it all,can still be recovered by pounding enough resources,and having enough teachers who have undergone serious training.
By Sophy Okwiri