Kajiado North Sub-County Education Director said he would not allow students to go to a school where they were likely to score E’s
By Zipporah Kariuki
Sixty-two students from a private school in Ngong have gone without learning this term after education officials ordered the institution shut down.
Parents of Spring Pastures High School marched to the Kajiado North Sub-County Education office on Monday, January 20, to register their displeasure. John Mutugo, the Kajiado North Sub-County Education director, had ordered the school shut down for failure to adhere to provisions of the Basic Education Act, 2013, that governs the registration of private schools.
In a letter addressed to the school management on January 13, Mutugo ordered that students from the school be relocated to the nearest public secondary school with immediate effect. This was a follow-up to another letter he had sent to the school in October last year.
Before going to the education office, the parents had first met at the school with Cyprian Njue, the school director. Some of the parents complained that the move to close the school had inconvenienced them as they had already paid fees.
They resolved that they would tell the educational director that they had nowhere to take their children and therefore wanted “their school to be re-opened”.
Njue ruled out refunding fees to those parents, claiming that he had already bought foodstuff for the students. “Anyone who needs fees refund should get it at the education office,” he told the parents. “After all, I am not the one who closed the school.”
At the education office, Mutugo maintained that the school would not be opened until the required standards were met. “There is no way I will continue sitting in this office knowing too well your children will score E’s,” he said. “That you pay fees so that teachers are employed, yet there are no teachers and no books in that school.”
He added that a report from the Public Works Officer indicated that the school roof risks being blown away by the wind. “Should I sit here and wait for you to come here complaining that your children have been injured as a result?”
Mutugo also revealed that the school scored a mean grade of 1.1, which is equivalent to Grade E. Out of the 41 candidates who sat for KCSE last year, the best performing student got a C minus. “Four students got D plain, 27 got D Minus, while 10 scored E,” he added.
Each of the students will get a letter from the education office, which they will take to a public school of their choice within Ngong. These include PCEA Ngong Hills, Ngong Township, Ololua, Bul Bul and Kerarapon, and that they should report with the current school uniform.
“This is not the only school we had given a warning. Other schools showed willingness to comply but the management in your school did not bother and that is why we shut it down,” explained Mutugo, adding that his office had given the schools a three-month notice.