Former Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Secretary General Wilson Sossion has blamed rising cases of school invasions by angry parents on what he terms a lack of proper management of the country’s education system.
Several cases of teacher harassment over claims of poor candidates’ performance have been witnessed in some schools since the release of the 2023 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE ) and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination results.
In an interview on K24 TV on Tuesday, January 16, the former nominated member of parliament claimed that Kenya’s education is on autopilot.
Citing neglect of schools, Sossion said there was an urgent need for Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu to reorganise the ministry and revamp its quality assurance standards.
According to the former legislator, this will only be possible through frequent engagement with stakeholders.
“We don’t have a forum for dialogue for education, education is purely on autopilot, we are dealing with a rotten education system and it is time for CS Machogu to reorganize the ministry,” Sossion stated.
“We have told the education ministry to revamp its quality assurance and standards department so that schools can be inspected and gaps can be identified early enough. We have neglected our schools.”
Lugari MP Nabii Nabwera, on his part, blamed the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) for the crisis in schools, saying some of the headteachers in Kenyan schools are incompetent.
“Some of the teachers and principals the TSC have promoted do not merit. If the principal came in the school is going down whereas in other schools in the same environment, the results are going up,” Nabwira said.
At the same time, Nabwera expressed concerns over inadequate funding of schools, which has not only affected learning but also left most of the institutions in a sorry state.
“We are living in a false paradise, how come a primary school pupil has been allocated Ksh1,400 as capitation since 2015, the value for Ksh1,400 I had in 2015 is not the same value today,” he said.
Some of the schools affected by the recent invasions include St Gabriel Isongo Secondary School in Kakamega, where parents and boda boda riders invaded the institution and ejected the principal.
Yesterday, CS Machogu condemned the incident and pledged stern action against such perpetrators.
“The ministry is disturbed by this unfortunate trend, which appears to create the impression that the burden of poor performance in examinations must be exclusively borne by teachers, especially the Head of Institution,” CS Machogu said in a statement on Monday, January 15.
“Going forward, the Ministry of Education will treat any invasion to schools to frog-march the teachers out of their workstations as acts of crime that will prompt firm and decisive action from law enforcers,” he added.
The CS told communities behind the attacks that learner achievement in examinations is the reflection of the overall input from all stakeholders, including parents, teachers and candidates themselves.
He stated that his ministry and TSC have put in place a robust and elaborate mechanism for evaluating the performance of teachers and field officers which always ensures non-performing staff are dealt with per existing laws and policies.