Education CS Prof. George Magoha has finally apologised over the abrupt closure of schools.
On Monday, the CS issued an order directing schools to send students home by noon on Tuesday.
Magoha announced that classes would resume on August 11 after the general elections on August 9.
The closure caught parents, guardians and school management unawares.
“I know that people are very unhappy that the schools were closed abruptly. Let me apologise on behalf of the government,” Magoha said.
The CS, however, defended the decision to close the schools saying the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission had to be given what it requires to prepare for the elections.
Most public schools are traditionally used as polling and tallying centres every election year.
“So, the small pain that I have caused you, I take full responsibility because I’m the one who was supposed to say it,” Magoha said.
Parents and the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers, Kuppet, immediately criticized the decision.
They were never consulted, according to secretary general Akello Misori, who also argued that it was unreasonable to order schools to reopen two days after elections.
“This is outright impractical, since the elections will take nearly a week to conclude. Moreover, parents need reasonable time to assess whether their children can travel and settle in schools safely,” Misori said.
According to KESSHA Chair Mr Kahi Indimuli, the decision has angered parents and teachers who were taken by surprise. He insisted that prior to releasing pupils for the midterm break, certain institutions had to make local accommodations to accommodate them.
“We have heard the complaints from parents, but let me just be clear: we also received the orders on Monday, and we must adhere to them.
“Some schools may accommodate the students for one more day to allow parents to prepare to pick them, especially boarding schools,” Indimuli said