Kenyan teachers warned over holiday tuition
The Government has warned teachers against conducting holiday tuition. Education Minister Mutula Kilonzo on Monday said those who will be found conducting holiday tuition will be arrested and prosecuted.
The minister lamented that holiday tuition had become a burden to both parents and pupils.
“We stress our children with a lot of learning and little time for play. Many children consider vocational reading as a punishment,” he stated.
He regretted that children start going for holiday tuition as early as Standard Two.
“When schools are on, they wake up very early and when on holiday we don’t allow them to rest,” he explained.
The new regulations will take effect if Parliament passes the Education Bill 2012.
The Ministry of Education drafted the Bill to conform to the Constitution.
Although the Government banned holiday tuition in 2008, a majority of schools have never heeded the order.
Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) recently asked the Government to trim the school syllabus, which is long and demanding hence the need for holiday tuition.
Knut said during the 13 weeks (school term) there are so many interruptions such as drama and sports.
The union, however, said the distractions are necessary because education is not solely a matter of class work.
A parents lobby group, Kenya National Parents and Teachers Association, said only remedial lessons for the “weak” students were necessary but recommended that these be offered after regular lessons during the school term.
On Monday, Mutula said the Education Bill 2012 is at the Attorney General’s office and will soon be tabled before Parliament.
“Children should get enough play and sleep. I did not go to school on Saturday’s when I was learning,” he noted.
He added that the Government will not sit and watch as children undergo a stressful life while learning.
The minister made the remarks at a Nairobi hotel while opening a workshop on peace building through education.
The two-day workshop brings together officials from the ministries of Education, Youth Affairs, Higher Education, religious groups and development partners.
Teachers support holiday tuition as it ensures they get extra income while parents insist children are idle at home.
By Allan Kisia, The Standard
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