Kenia: Schools break for holiday to create space for polls

Kenia / 02 de agosto de 2017 / Por: SAMWEL OWINO / Fuente:

A majority of schools across the country closed this week for the August holiday to pave the way for the General Election set for next week.

Nearly all public schools throughout the country will be used as polling stations, hence the early closure to avoid the disruption of classes on the voting day.

Ordinarily, all schools were expected to break for the holidays later next week.

The third term, which is normally the shortest in the academic calendar, will begin on August 28 and end on October 27 to pave way for the national examinations, which starts on October 30.

A number of teachers will serve as polling officers during the August 8 election.

Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i while announcing in May this year that schools would close early to pave way for elections, told school heads across the country to take inventory of the properties that will be handed over to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) in order to keep track of them during the polls.

Dr Matiang’i said IEBC officials would be held accountable in case of destruction or loss of school property.

“We have schools in Migori and Nanyuki that were damaged during activities by political parties nominations and we hope they will be repaired.

«It is very shameful to borrow things from our children and destroy them. Let us be responsible adults.” Dr Matiang’i said.

The University of Nairobi will close on August 2 to allow students to participate in the General Election.

The university’s Academic Registrar Bernard Waweru said in a notice published in local dailies on July 19 that learning will resume on August 21 at a time when the institution anticipates all election-related activities, including the declaration of presidential results, will have been concluded.

In May this year, Dr Matiang’i banned political rallies on school grounds.

He told school heads to follow the new rule as it was meant to ensure safety of learners and school property.

“We should not create unnecessary anxiety and disruption of school programmes by allowing political rallies in schools,” he said.

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