Finally the ministry of education has bowed to pressure and released the Circular for halfterm. This comes after the principals complained that unrest in schools is due to lack of halfterm in the calendar.
In a statement dated Monday, November 1, school principals were directed to close schools for half-term on Friday, November 19.
The circular addressed to all regional and county directors of education also indicated that the schools would resume on Tuesday, November 23, after a 5-day break.
“It has been decided that the half term break will commence on Friday, November 19, 2021. The students will report back on Tuesday, November 23, 2021.
“You are required to bring this information to the attention of all principals of Secondary Schools within your area of Jurisdiction,” read the statement in part.
The circular was signed by Education Principal Secretary Dr Julius Jwan and shared with Education CS, Prof George Magoha.
The directive comes just hours after teachers from Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) as well as school heads attached to Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association (KESSHA) advised the state to a short-term break.
KESSHA chair Indimuli Kahi had told the press that the association wrote to the Ministry requesting a break for all schools while advocating for the return of extra-curricula activities.
It had also been established that the students uprising had been caused by the make-up programme that the Ministry introduced to make up for the 10 months that were lost in 2020 due to Covid-19 pandemic.
“We forgot that we have students who have a lot of energy and they look forward to participating in these events,” stated Kahi.
Separately, KUPPET had also advised the ministry to consider giving high school students a 5-day break as a short-term solution over the students unrest.
Milemba further rooted for the abolition of boarding schools countrywide to ensure that parents are also involved in discipline and counsel of their children on a daily basis.
On December last year, the ministry released a circular over the calendar. They said, no halfterm was supposed to be in term two. However, in the last few days schools have been burnt. This led to the head of principals association writing to the ministry to ask for the short break.
The ministry now says halfterm should be from 19th November to 23rd November 2021. This is just a week from today. The memo clearly addressing the principals through regional directors shows the exact dates of the halfterm.
This however, has a negative effect for teachers as they will lack enough time to complete syllabus. This year looks to be very short and may affect curriculum implementation at all costs.
The new halfterm dates will see some plans scattled in schools as the same week was planned in schemes of work.