A doctor from Nakuru County has sued the government for its decision to force primary and secondary school students to repeat classes after the long pandemic period disrupted leaning across the country.
Filing on behalf of two minors, Dr Magare Gikenyi Benjamin on Thursday appeared before the Nakuru County High Court demanding a response from the Education Cabinet Secretary Professor George Magoha and the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC).
The two have been accused by Gikenyi of proclaiming decisions without facts and scientific and legal evidence hence subjecting the 2 minors and thousands of school-going children to unfair treatment.
“The rights to education of the thousands of pupils and students have been affected. They have not been given a fair treatment,” he said in his court papers filed before Justice Joel Ngugi. He stated that crushing hopes of learners awaiting to sit their national examinations this year is illegal and inhuman.
Gikenyi said that the Ministry of Education decided that students have not covered the curriculum without examining them. The Education Ministry on July 7th declared that there would be no pre-primary school admission in 2021 and that the current Standard 7 pupils will not proceed to Standard 8.
Education CS Magoha stated learners would repeat classes due to incomplete syllabus coverage adding that the 2020 school calendar would be deemed lost due to Covid-19 constraints. He said all learners in primary and secondary schools apart from the current candidates will repeat classes in 2021.
Magoha also decided that there will be no sitting for KCSE nor KCPE examinations until next year due to the pandemic. However, Gikenyi states the determinations by the CS was based on opinions, rumours and guesses, and as a result, thousands of learners have lost immensely.
The doctor wants the court to force the ministry to approve the enrolment of pre-primary learners in 2021 as well as to allow learners to proceed to the next level, and register and consider those who may wish to sit the national examinations.
“Without any notice whatsoever, CS Magoha caused schools to abruptly cut learning. There is no admission to pre-primary, no progression to Standard Eight and any other class and no registration of learners to sit the KCPE and KCSE exams for the current Standard Seven pupils and Form Three students,” stated the doctor.
Education Ministry’s decision according to Gikenyi has resulted to the wastage of time and fees paid for the year 2021 which has, in turn, put pressure on parents and guardians admitting that Covid-19 has influenced economic hardships.
He accuses the CS caring less about the time wasted in learning in term one as well as during home-based and e-learning.
“The CS cared less about the future of the learners who have been working hard to complete their education in time and prepare for the life ahead,” Gikenyi noted.
The Nakuru based doctor argues there’s no nexus between the physical resumption of schools and the Covid-19 situation in the country to stopping four-year-olds from being admitted to pre-primary in 2021. Justice Ngugi approved the application as urgent but failed to issue directions against the Education CS.
Justice Ngugi stated that the concerns in the application are about the policy on the progression of learners owing to Covid-19 pandemic merits full ventilation to decide if it is truly rational or was otherwise reached at in infringement of due manner that safeguards public participation rights of key stakeholders.
The case will be introduced again on November 16.