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Kirinyaga parents protest education director's transfer

Sunday September 15 2019

Kirinyaga Central education director Florence Mwinzi

Florence Mwinzi, who was the Kirinyaga Central Sub-County's Education Director. PHOTO | GEORGE MUNENE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

GEORGE MUNENE
By GEORGE MUNENE
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Parents in Kirinyaga are up in arms over the demotion and transfer of a senior education officer they say is the best,

Florence Mwinzi, who was the Kirinyaga Central Sub-County Education Director, has been moved to Nakuru where she will be based in the county director of education's office.

Kirinyaga Central emerged top in the 2018 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education Examination in the region and was position one in the nationwide mean score.

DEMANDS

The parents on Saturday demanded that Ms Mwinzi's transfer be revoked with immediate effect.

They accused the Ministry of Education of punishing instead of promoting a director who ensured local schools performed well in the national tests.

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The parents further alleged sabotage to keep Kirinyaga Central from performing well and developing in matters education.

"She has been transferred when Form Four and Standard Eight candidates are about to write their examinations. We read sabotage," said Ms Mary Wanjiru.

Speaking to the press in Kerugoya town, the protesters appealed for Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha's intervention.

They threatened to demonstrate against Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang if their grievances are not addressed.

"We shall continue piling pressure on the ministry until our demands are met," said Mr James Kangangi.

KNUT OFFICIAL

Equally concerned was a local official of the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut).

"When we heard that the director had been demoted and taken to another station we were shocked," said Executive Secretary Javan Wachira.

Mr Wachira said Ms Mwinzi is a good performer who deserves to be treated well.

"She was recently awarded a trophy during the region's school prize giving day because her sub-county led in KCPE last year," he said.

"DEMORALISED"

Ms Mwinzi received her transfer letter last week and was ordered to handover the on September 9 to Grace Mugu, the Chief Education Officer from Embu, who has been promoted.

The letter dated September 3 and signed by Dr Kipsang did not give reasons for the action.

Ms Mwinzi is yet to handover and when she was reached for comment, she said she felt demoralised.

"It is true I have been demoted and moved to Nakuru. I was not given any reasons why such a harsh action was taken against m," she said.

"I feel mistreated despite working so hard to ensure schools in the area continue doing well academically."

Margaret Mwirigi, the County Director of Education, did not respond to calls and messages from the Nation for comment on the matter.

However, sources close to the local education office said the transfer was unusual.

One claimed, "Some of the officers were jealous for being outperformed by Ms Mwinzi so they instigated her demotion and transfer. It is pure witch-hunt."