The Ministry of Education has announced a three day Mid-term break for secondary schools starting Friday 19th November 2021.
According to a circular addressed to all Regional and County Directors of Education all students will report back to schools on Tuesday 23rd November 2021.
However it is not yet clear why primary schools have been sidelined in this latest changes.
According to the new school calendar all schools will break for term two on 23rd December 2021. The break will take ten days before learning resumes again on 3rd January 2021 for term one.
KCPE candidates will sit for their national on exams on 7th March 2022 till 10th March 2022. KCSE candidates will sit theirs from 11th March 2022 to 1st April 2022.
Failure to slot in the half-term break during this school term has been cited as the main reason cases of unrest are being reported across the country.
Secondary school heads say that the 11 weeks learning period under the revised term dates has put pressure on children leading to ‘wayward’ behaviour.
Kahi Indimuli, secondary school heads association national chairman, said that second term is often a busy learning period as most teachers work to cover the syllabus.
He said this effort by teachers to cover learning areas must have also put pressure on children.
Indimuli also said that failure to resume school games and activities have also closed avenues for children to ventilate, putting pressure on learners as well.
“If we have resumed sporting activities across all fields why have we continued to close for schools. we need these games and activities to also help children,’ said Indimuli.
It also emerged that failure for the government to send all capitation money to schools and parents inability to settle outstanding fees has also starved schools of the much-needed cash.
“We need to provide some items to children but we are unable because we do not have the money,” said Indimuli.
However, even as principals pitched their case for rising cases of school fires, the government is faulted for failing to implement the recommendations of past task forces that prescribed solutions to end of unrest.
The gory images of Buruburu Girls students jumping out of narrow windows during the dormitory fire have put the government on spot for failing to implement safety measures recommended in various reports.
A task force report commissioned in 2016 laid bare causes of school fires, especially during the second term, but a spot check in schools reveals that the findings largely remain on paper.
The recommendations of another government document, titled Safety Standards Manual for Schools, produced in 2008 also largely remain on paper.
School heads are also on spot for failing to implement directives issued by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to enhance students’ safety and improve vigilance in institutions.
The schools’ unrest debate is a topic discussed in hushed tones in staff rooms and even in the Ministry of Education offices.
However, in its findings, the Claire Omolo Report unearthed major administrative flaws in schools and the existence of backward criminal practices and punishable oversights that spark unrest in schools.
The team also exposed poor living conditions, blatant disregard of government policies and collusion between students and teachers that led to unrest, threatening the lives of innocent learners.
Other reasons that led to unrest are school administrators’ highhandedness, bad school rules and lack of proper communication channels further fanned the fires that paralysed learning during the third term of 2016.
Consequently, the children resorted to burning buildings in schools especially dormitories, administration blocks, classrooms and food stores.