Magoha orders parents to enroll learners still at home by Friday

Tuesday, August 31st, 2021 00:00 |
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha meets some of the students who have not reported in Form One at Kiandutu slums in Thika, Kiambu county, yesterday. Photo/PD/Oliver Musembi

Oliver Musembi, Mathew Ndung’u and Robert Ochoro

Parents whose children will not have reported in Form One by Friday will be arrested and prosecuted, Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha warned yesterday.

 He said national government administrators and the police have been instructed to mop up all children who are yet to report to secondary school and have their parents prosecuted.

 Magoha said the CS told the parents to take their children to the nearby day secondary schools, which he said were free.

 “There is no reason for children who completed primary education last year to continue staying at home when the government pays capitation to secondary day schools,” Magoha said when he led a multi-sectoral door-to-door campaign in Kiandutu slums of Thika, Kiambu county.

“Our target is to achieve 100 per cent transition by the end of this week. Education is the only game changer in our society.

We have already paid first term capitation for all our students and there is no reason for any student to stay home,” he said.

 Noting that about 75 per cent of all the 10,000 public secondary schools in the country are day schools, Magoha said the government pays for all the school fees in these schools except for uniforms and food.

 “Why must students stay home? If we find out that you are keeping a child who has finished primary school at home by Friday, you will be arrested and charged,” said the CS.

 He also warned school heads against sending home learners from day secondary schools to collect money for lunch or school uniforms.

 “We are determined to achieve the 100 per cent transition rate from primary to secondary schools as ordered by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Currently, we are at 96 per cent transition nationally,” he added.

He, however, admitted the programme is facing challenges in Garissa, Kilifi, Kwale and some counties in the Rift Valley but  stated that the government has been keen to ensure they don’t lag behind.

Lecturers warned

Nyanza and Central region lead with an average of 97 per cent, Eastern region is at 86 per cent, Nairobi at 74 per cent while Coast region is at 83 per cent.

 The CS scoffed at the planned strike by lecturers in public universities saying that the government is focusing on other pressing issues facing its citizens, warning lecturers against downing their tools.

 Lecturers have threatened to go on strike over what they termed as the government’s failure to implement the 2017-2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

 “You should thank God that you have a job and pay slips. Even If you down your tools, who will listen to you?

We are busy working on arresting Covid-19 infections and ensuring that we achieve a 100 percent transition rate from primary to secondary school,” he said.

 On Monday, Magoha asked national government and education officials in Baringo to apply ‘Nyumba Kumi’ initiative principles to round up all children still at home and ensure they are enrolled in form one.  

He challenged the education stakeholders to use the community policing method to spot and call out the Standard Eight candidates and ensure they join Form One before Friday this week.

 Magoha, who was accompanied by his Labour and Social Protection counterpart, Simon Chelugui and chief administrative secretary (CAS) Patrick ole Ntutu, expressed displeasure that the county had recorded the lowest transition rate of 80 percent and added it is high time stakeholders commit themselves fully in the process of looking for the absentee learners.

 He urged area County Commissioner Henry Wafula to mobilise his team in the villages to find out reasons that might have hindered some parents not to enrol their children to schools where they have been admitted.  

“We would like to see all children reporting to school in this county latest by Friday and if they are not in school, then find out why are they missing out,” he said.

 The Education CS, who in the better part of the morning led the team in fishing out four needy children from outskirts of Kabarnet town and admitted them at Kituro Mixed Secondary School said that children from other sub counties with similar challenges shall be identified so that they can benefit from the four year government sponsorship.

 Chelugui while reiterating the sentiments attributed the low transition rate to myriad challenges such as child neglect and abuse by parents which he said were rampant in the county.  Additional reporting by KNA

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