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Parents failing to enroll learners risk arrests

Coast Regional Commissioner (RC) John Elungata says the government will round up parents whose children have failed to join form one in the region.

Speaking in Kinango sub county of Kwale on Sunday, Elungata said the government will not relent in its push to achieve the 100 per cent transition to form one for all the candidates who sat for the 2020 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination.

Elungata said education stakeholders in the region are determined to ensure that all learners transit from primary to secondary level of education.

He directed chiefs and their assistants and education officials at the sub county levels to engage in door-to-door campaigns aimed at promoting the absorption of students into secondary schools.

He said parents who sabotage the government’s 100 per cent transition policy to secondary school education would be dealt with.

The RC said the push for a 100 per cent transition would in the long run ensure the country attains high literacy rate and a more educated citizenry.

“We would be forced to crack the whip and arrest parents whose children have not joined secondary schools by next week,” said Elungata.

He went on ‘we will not resolve the menace of out of school children if we continue talking nicely to reluctant parents and guardians’.

He said the government will not relent in its push to ensure children benefited from the free and compulsory basic education saying the measures were needed to help the country transform its economy and living standards of its people.

He said Kwale has registered less than 70 per cent admission since August 2, 2021 which was the reporting date for Form One students.

“But we have given ourselves as education stakeholders a target of reaching 90 to 95 per cent transition by next week,” he said.

He said education remains the key to national development and that it was the only legacy parents could give their children to secure a better future.

“The national, county governments and several institutions issue bursary and scholarships to needy and deserving students and therefore there should be no reason for parents to fail to send their children to secondary school,” he said.

Elungata said all children regardless of their background are entitled to basic education and that the push to have every child who did his/her KCPE enters a secondary school is worth support from all and sundry.

The regional administrator spoke to the press at Kinango Secondary School accompanied by the Director-General State Department of Early learning and Basic Education Elias Abdi and area County Commissioner Joseph Kanyiri.

He said national government administration officers and education officials in the region have launched a door to door exercise to ensure that students who sat their KCPE join secondary school.

“The door to door exercise is meant to account for every child who was supposed to join form one,” he said adding that lack of school fees is not a compelling reason for a child to miss basic education.

Abdi said the Ministry of Education is committed to the success of the 100 per cent transition policy and is addressing challenges hampering access to secondary education.

“The 100 per cent transition policy is one that will ensure all learners’ transit from primary to secondary levels of education since basic education is a fundamental right recognized in the constitution,” he said.

“The government has declared free primary and day secondary education and as a Ministry we are committed to the roll out and success of the 100 per cent transition policy,” said Abdi.

The senior education official noted that the push to achieve a 100 per cent transition rate from primary to secondary school is meant to give all children free access to 12 years of learning.

He directed school principals to admit learners reporting including those who may not have the full school fees.

“But we encourage parents facing financial challenges to enroll their children in local public day secondary schools where they would not be paying fees,” he said, adding that even boarding schools have been directed to accommodate day scholars.

The educationist said the government is determined to ensure that children have equal opportunity to learn regardless of their social background.

Abdi said the government is investing in the education sector to ensure children have access to complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education that would make them competitive globally.

By Hussein Abdullahi

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