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Gov’t Set to Vet Stakeholders Participating in Basic Education Institutions

The government will vet stakeholders whom it allows to undertake any activity in basic education institutions, the Cabinet Secretary (CS) for Education, Mr. Ezekiel Machogu has said.

Machogu said the scrutiny aims at protecting teachers and learners from influences that violate the cultural norms and traditions the education system seeks to nurture in learners.

“If we allow anybody to access our schools, it will be a mess,” the CS noted.

He made the remarks during a Consultative meeting with clergy from the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) in his office.

The Clergy was led by Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) Archbishop Jackson Ole Sapit and the Chairman Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) Commission for Education & Religious Education, Bishop Paul Kariuki.

Machogu thanked the faith based organizations for the support they give to public education adding that the church has educational institutions which have benefited thousands of children across the country.

He said the government had allocated Sh9.6 billion to learners in Junior Secondary Schools (JSS) saying the money will provide appropriate infrastructure for learners.

The CS revealed that the government will, jointly with the World Bank, build 8,000 laboratories in JSS, adding that the Ministry looks to the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to fund some of the infrastructural needs in JSS.

Earlier, Archbishop Ole Sapit had asked the Ministry to protect learners from harmful influence from some Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) who work in some schools.

He asked the government to be vigilant on the contents of comprehensive sexual education.

Ole Sapit noted that some NGOs make an attempt to impart ideas into teachers and learners that are offensive to African culture through sexuality education under the pretext of supporting education.

Further, the Archbishop disclosed that some groups use otherwise well-meaning programmes to sneak ideas that are offensive culturally and inappropriate to the stage of development of the learners.

In a quick rejoinder, Machogu said the Ministry will work with faith based organizations to establish chaplaincy as well as guidance and counseling in schools.

The CS said chaplaincy as well as guidance and counseling will greatly help to mitigate the problem of drug abuse and other evils that affect students in schools.

Archbishop Ole Sapit supported the chaplaincy while stressing how important chaplains are in guiding students.

Ole Sapit, however, maintained that the chaplains should have a proper training in chaplaincy.

At the same time, Bishop Kariuki expressed the need for the Ministry to provide guidelines that will enable schools to set up school rules which recognize religious liberties of learners but within bounds.

He however said that the students should abide by the traditions that the identities of the schools they enroll in.

Present at the meeting were the Principal Secretary for Basic Education, Dr. Belio Kipsang, and the Principal Secretary for the State Departments of University Education & Research, Dr. Beatrice Inyangala and the Principal Secretary for Vocational and Technical Training, Dr. Esther Muoria.

By Michael Omondi

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