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Citizen Weekly

Monday, 28 July 2014

REP DIFFER WITH PARENTS, STUDENTS ON EDUCATION DAY


            

A member of the Kakamega county assembly was forced to cut short his speech after he was booed and heckled for demanding that a secondary school reverts to both day and boarding.

Onesmus Mmasi of Idakho Central ward in Ikolomani constituency got himself into trouble with the parents and students after he said the local community was against the recent decision by the Shikunga High School management to convert the institution into a full boarding.

“I have been receiving numerous complaints from members of the local community who fear that the school will cease to serve them after it was fully turned into a boarding institution. They feel that the institution should continue being both day and boarding so as to serve members of the local community who are mostly poor,” he said.

However, this did not go down well with the parents and students who shot to their feet and jeered him.
The MCA’s attempt to express himself further was met with more resistance and he had to cut short his address. He eventually left the school in a hurry.

Kakamega county Education executive Violet Amugira, her labour, sports and culture counterpart Jamin Shitsukane and a host of other leaders watched in disbelief as the rep exited during the school’s annual general meeting.

Interestingly, many of the parents who happen to be from the community dismissed the MCAs claims saying they fully supported turning the school into full boarding.
The school’s board of management turned the mixed institution to fully boarding this year as a way of promoting its academic performance further.

They said they were facing challenges in having control over the students, especially the girls during the evenings and weekends when they went home. They said they also felt that the dayscholars were affected because their boarding counterparts received training in the evenings and early morning while they were away.

Amugira agreed with the management’s decision saying it would boost performance and help protect the students. She said it was upon the leaders to help poor parents sustain their children at the institution by helping them with bursary money.

Shikunga was picked as a Centre of Excellence by the former Ikolomani MP now Kakamega Senator, Bonnie Khalwale. Others however are of the feeling that there is a segment of society that is served by day schools and that phasing out day schools will edge this lot  out of education.