Primary school heads have called for the abolition of boarding secondary schools, blaming the institutions for increasing student indiscipline. They proposed converting secondary boarding schools into day learning institutions to allow parents to instill discipline in their children.
The call came against the backdrop of increased cases of indiscipline in boarding schools, as evidenced by massive property destruction and learning disruption.
One of the resolutions passed yesterday at the 17th annual Kenya Primary Schools Headteachers Association (Kepsha) delegates’ conference in Mombasa was to abolish boarding schools. Over 10,000 heads attended the four-day event.
“Kepsha proposes that secondary schools become day schools so that parents are involved in raising their children. We will collaborate with the Kenya National Parents’ Association to promote strong partnership, coordination and parenta I engagement to help children’s re-entry to schools and 100 per cent transition from primary to secondary;’ stated the resolution read by Kepsha national secretary Philip Mitei.
The 100% transition policy has been blamed for boarding school congestion, stretching existing infrastructure beyond its capacity.
Secondary school principals have blamed the rampant indiscipline on traffic congestion. Learners from over 23,000 public primary schools and 11,000 private institutions are crammed into 10,359 public secondary schools and 1,600 private institutions.
By abolishing boarding schools, all national, extra-county, and county schools would become day schools.These categories are highly sought after because they are associated with high academic performance due to superior facilities and staffing compared to sub-county schools, which serve the majority of secondary school students.
Mr. Nzioka acknowledged a gap in children’s upbringing and called for collective responsibility and involvement of teachers, parents, political leaders, and other stakeholders.
He also warned against the reintroduction of caning in schools, arguing that errant students should instead be guided and counselled.
Kepsha’s resolution stands in sta1rk contrast to the views of Prof Magaha, who in July ruled out a hasty abolition of boarding schools despite mounting pressure from teachers’ unions.
A report by a task force formed to make recommendations on the CBC’s implementation appears to favour day schools, particularly for junior secondary schools.
“Designate day secondary schools will be the key transition point into secondary education except for arid areas, areas with long commutable distances and inadequate sub-county schools;’ the report reads.
“Day-schooling promotes parents’ engagement and involvement in their children’s learning and development