Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITUEducation Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU
By OUMA WANZALA

Parents and other visitors will not be allowed in schools starting Monday while co-curricular activities have also been suspended as learning resumes after the half-term break.

Even training for music festivals and drama have also been restricted to only students and their teachers.

These are part of the strict measures being put in place by the Ministry of Education to tighten security in schools and ensure there is no disruption and contact between candidates and outsiders during the term.

Schools will officially close on August 3 with Third Term beginning on August 27 and running until October 26, paving the way for national examinations.

NEW RULES

According to the new rules, the last school visits, previously allowed in July, and motivational talks on exams would not be allowed.

Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed said the move is meant to ensure there is uninterrupted focus on students.

The Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) has already released the 2018 National Examinations calendar.

“Only candidates will remain in school as the other learners close for the November and December holidays,” said Ms Mohamed.

She disclosed that she will personally lead teams in monitoring the opening of examination containers across the country, particularly in areas flagged by the examination council as requiring keen attention.

The Knec chairman, Prof George Magoha, has since raised the alarm over alleged plots by some principals to buy examination materials to aid cheating.

This year, 1.7 million candidates have registered for the national exams. A total of 1,060,787 will sit forthe Kenya Certificate of Primary Education — 531,665 boys and 529,122 girls. The Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education has 663,811 candidates — 340,719 boys and 323,092 girls.

BEFORE 6PM

The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has also directed that teachers who engage with students or pupils in any school activity must ensure that they are released from the activities in time to enable them reach their schools or homes before 6pm as per the Ministry of Education’s policy on safety of school children.”

Chief Executive Nancy Macharia said activities in boarding institutions programmed to take place after 6pm must end at a reasonable time but not later than 9pm to allow students and pupils have enough rest for the night.

On examinations, Ms Macharia asked teachers not to engage in or tolerate any form of malpractice, disclosing that the commission was currently handling 60 cases of teachers who engaged or aided exam cheating.

“We will not hesitate to take punitive measures, including dismissal, against those found guilty of this shameless and unprofessional actions. Some of these teachers, including principals, supervisers and invigilators, are already under interdiction pending disciplinary cases. Examinations are so critical that we cannot allow teachers to mess up with the future of our children,” said Ms Macharia.