Monday, December 31, 2012

Schools to break for elections

By BOZO JENJE [email protected]

All schools and colleges across the country will take a week’s break when Kenyans go to the polls on March 4.

The half-term break will be from February 28 to March 7, Education minister Mutula Kilonzo said on Monday.

“This is the time students will be sent home to pave way for the elections. I will talk to the IEBC so that in the event of a run-off in the presidential election, it should be held on a weekend when there is no tuition,” Mr Mutula said.

Save for this break, there would be no disruption of learning in the first term that starts next Monday and ends on April 12, a duration of 39 weeks.

Learning institutions throughout the country are routinely used as polling centres during elections largely due to their ideal locations.

At the same time, the minister said the results of the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examinations would be released on time.

The marking has been completed and the Kenya National Examinations Council was processing the data, an exercise that will take about three weeks.

“We hope to have the results around January 25. The Form One admissions are on course and immediately the results are out the process will start,” he said at a press conference at Travellers Hotel in Mombasa town where he was accompanied by Education PS George Godia.

The minister also gave a score-card on his ministry’s performance and rolled out measures that would enable the government realise its goals in provision of education to Kenyans.

On the effect of the ongoing heavy rains and floods on schools, Mr Kilonzo expressed deep regret at the death of 10 pupils in Elgeyo Marakwet County.

Six have so far been identified: two were from Toroplongon, three from Kabechei and one from Menone primary schools.

“We shall let you know the schools from which the other pupils were from immediately out team on the ground makes a confirmation.

On the coming elections, the minister urged Kenyans to vote wisely and peacefully to avoid interference with learning.

He also appealed to political parties to hold their nominations during weekends so that classes are not affected.

“My plea to the all parties is to carry their nominations over the weekends,” he said .

Mr Kilonzo said remarkable progress had been made in the provision of quality education to every Kenyan child and promised to ensure the girl child is not disadvantaged.

“We will see to it that the girl child gets free sanitary towels so that they remain in school during their monthly period,” Mr Mutula said.

He said the ministry had scored highly as more teachers have been trained, more girls are in school, the gender gap has been narrowed, several laws that out –law labour have been passed and adult literacy has improved considerably in a span of five years.

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