Schools will now operate six hours a day during weekdays, the government has ordered.
Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu said the government will not allow students to be exposed to a lot of work which can be covered within the stipulated time.
Machogu urged heads to adjust on their calendar cautioning them that the ministry will whip any head who defies the order.
He emphasized that no learner should continue reporting to class before the break of dawn saying school activities should end before dusk.
‘‘We are subjecting this young one to stress which affects their mental health. We have to make learning fun and likeable,’’ Machogu said.
Machogu was addressing Kenya Secondary School Heads Association (KESSHA) officials in his office at Jogoo House, Nairobi on Thursday.
If enforced, this will see schools operate from 8am and end by 3.45 pm every day affecting both the primary, Junior Secondary as well as high schools.
‘‘Let children be children and enjoy their schooling life. This child should rest and have enough sleep,’’ the CS said.
The CS said developed countries have few learning hours yet they are ranked highly in education saying the same can be implicated in the country urging schools to adhere to the new directive.
‘‘Countries like Finland have three teaching hours’ regime in a day and yet are reputed to have a world class system of education,’’ Machogu stated.
‘‘Waking learners at 4am to attend remedial classes by 6am, this is unnecessary and uncalled for.’’
Early this year, the CS banned early morning and late evening travelling of learners in a bid to give them adequate time to rest.
Machogu cautioned schools against the trend arguing it was akin to mental torture and that the school environment should not feel like prison life.
In the new development, the schools will be forced to make changes to daily routine lessons in order to accommodate the new government policy.
“You will meet students walking on the streets very early in the morning heading to school for remedial lessons. I have seen some buses ferrying students at 10 pm as they head back home. We will not allow that,” Machogu added.
KESSHA chairman Kahi Indimuli had raised concerns over delaying capitation to schools which continue affecting the smooth running of schools.
Also what emerged was the contradiction of policies which puts heads at cross roads with the government.
Indimuli recently had blamed the government for issuing directives that continue to affect collection of school fees from the parents.
He pointed out that the government warns school heads from sending learners from school for lack of school fees or withholding on certificates.
‘‘Whenever government releases funding and announces this, most parents stop paying school fees forgetting that the money is meant for tuition. The boarding cost is not captured on this,’’ he stated.
Also raised was the issue of distribution of curriculum materials to schools which affects teaching and learning in schools, management of curriculum activities and auditing of school finances.
Indimuli further say when the government took over paying examination fees for candidates many learners leave schools with arrears.
‘‘When auditors see the uncollected fees, they blame heads on poor management. They write an unqualified report saying you failed to collect money from learners,’’ he stated.
Principal Secretary Dr. Belio Kipsang challenged the leaders to regulate the costing of school uniforms among its members.
He warned that even after issuing directives on schools to allow parents to have free will on uniforms purchase, many have defied the order and continue to overcharge for the merchandise.