Pupils and parents of Rongo Primary School in Nyando, Kisumu County, on Monday protested over the transfer of the institution’s head teacher Mr Patrick Odero, demanding his unconditional reinstatement.
Chanting “No Odero, no school!”, they marched from the school to the area curriculum support office which is located at Rabuor Chief’s camp were where they rejected the deployment of Mr James Onyango as the new school head.
Until his transfer to Rongo Primary, Mr Onyango was the head teacher of Rweya Primary School -- the institution where Mr Odero has been moved.
The two schools are located a few metres apart.
While Mr Odero has since reported to his new work station, the situation is different for Mr Onyango as he has been rejected by Rongo Primary School's board of management on grounds that it was not consulted before the changes.
Heaping praises on Mr Odero for the good performance that the school has posted during his stint, the parents vowed to paralyse learning at the institution until their demands are heeded to by the Teachers Service Commission.
They said that going by the results posted by Rweya Primary School in last year’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Education, Mr Onyango has no capacity to run Rongo Primary School.
“My daughter passed very well in this school last year and all this is because of Mr Odero’s hard work. Now bringing us a new head teacher who failed to help his former school perform well is like killing Rongo and as parents cannot allow that,” said Ms Angeline Achieng', one of the protesting parents.
The school’s board members led by chairman Javan Okuom said they will not allow the new head teacher into the school as the transfer is “ill-timed and is likely to affect the students' performance at the end of the year.”
“The transfer of Rongo Primary School head teacher at this time of the year will cause serious disturbance in the smooth running of the institution, especially the preparation of 2018 KCPE. Academic performance of Rweya is not at par with that of Rongo to warrant such a swap,” Mr Okuom, the BOG chairman said.
Mrs Beatrice Abala, Rabuor curriculum support officer, criticised the parents and the board members for paralysing learning at the institution, saying it is not the right way to solve the problem.
While she promised to take up the matter to ensure that learning resumes at the school, she exonerated local officials from blame, saying that transfers are effected in Nairobi.
"I have asked the pupils to return to school as we solve the problem but it is a mistake to paralyse learning at the school through demonstration.
Transfers come from Nairobi and therefore we are not to blame," she said.
Kisumu County TSC Director of Education Adow Bardad said he was not aware of the protests.
“I cannot comment on the issues because I am not aware of the protests,” he said without elaborating on the transfers.