HomeTSC & EDUCATIONEducation CS George Magoha’s conundrum over the academic calendar

Education CS George Magoha’s conundrum over the academic calendar

Education CS George Magoha’s conundrum over the academic calendar

Education CS George Magoha’s conundrum over the academic calendar

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George Magoha, the cabinet secretary for education, must decide whether to prolong this year’s academic calendar and postpone the November national exams, or whether to wait until the next administration, which may take longer given the anticipated court petition.

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The second term will end on September 17, giving students a week off before the third quarter begins on September 25. However, the general election caused a two-week interruption to the second term. From August 6 to August 13, a one-week half term was planned for the schools.

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But on August 2, Prof. Magoha declared that schools would be closed so that the Independent and the Boundaries Commission could prepare for the elections. The use of over 23,000 schools as polling and tallying locations had been published.

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Extension of the term dates, according to Prof. Magoha, will be a significant policy move that necessitates broad stakeholder input. The academic calendar will proceed as planned, according to the CS. He allayed concerns that education was being degraded. “There are so many people discussing so many different topics when it comes to significant policy changes. Despite the fact that there won’t be any significant policy adjustments, a new administration will take office.

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In order to give the IEBC time to publish the presidential results, Prof. Magoha had to postpone the resumption of schools twice, from August 11 to August 15 and then to August 18 last week. Parents, teachers’ unions, and school administrators have voiced worries about the calendar as a result of the shutdown.

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Kenya Secondary School Heads Association chairman Kahi Indimuli has since called on the ministry to engage stakeholders to see how learners will recover the two weeks.

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Akelo Misori, secretary general of the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Teachers, has urged for delaying the national exams and extending the semester. Parents have also requested a delay.

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Examining readiness
However, the CS stated that the ministry and the Kenya National Examination Council are ready to conduct the scheduled November national exams for students in Grade 6, Standard 8, and Form 4.

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The Kenya Certificate of Primary Education test for Standard Eights will be administered from November 28 to December 1, and the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exam for Form Fours will be administered from December 1 to December 23. On November 28–30, students in Grade Six will take their final Kenya Primary School Education Assessment.

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Most schools, according to Prof. Magoha, have finished their syllabi and are now revising. He urged teachers to do the same.

“Make them apply the knowledge they have been taught as they revise and the exams will be a walkover; that’s the best way forward because if we have a misstep at this point, it means we will not normalise our school calendar in January.

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“If there is need for anything major to be done, it is fair and just to allow the incoming government and CS to be the ones to consider that,” he said in Nairobi, while commissioning Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) classrooms ahead of junior secondary school (JSS) roll-out in January.

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On JSS, the CS advised parents to work with teachers to help learners select schools near their homes to ensure safety and continuity. The ministry plans to place 1.28 million students in JSS.

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The majority of students have returned to school after the general election on August 9 according to Prof. Magoha, who praised administrators for accepting them back without charging them because many parents are having financial difficulties. “Until the end of the year, you may not send a child home, unless you are the President and the government is yours. We will take action if you send any children home due to payments, the CS warned.

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However, he noted that the school’s principals could examine the situation, contact parents who could contribute financially, or bring up the issue with ministry representatives at Jogoo House to prompt action. Additionally, the CS stated that the ministry will work with the Teachers Service Commission to sanction principals who impose unlawful

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Erratic program
The academic year has been operating atypically on a crash program since January of last year. Prof. Magoha established a Covid 19 National Education Response Committee to provide recommendations on reopening in an effort to prevent students from repeating lectures.

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As part of the Covid-19 post recovery strategy, the committee was also given the responsibility of organizing and reviewing the academic calendar.

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To make up for the “lost year” and cover the academic years 2021 and 2022, the redesigned calendar involves primary and secondary school students in a two-year full schedule. The regular academic year is expected to start in January of the following year.

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