The Teachers Service Commission, TSC, has stopped implementation of the Community Based Learning Programme. This is after a parent went to court seeking to have the contentious programme halted. The High Court on Tuesday stopped the Ministry of Education from rolling out the community-based learning programme
Justice James Makau of the High Court, in his judgement yesterday, issued the temporary order to Education CS George Magoha. This followed a petition filed by a parent challenging the government’s decision to close schools.
According to the parent, Joseph Enock Aura, the decision to close schools was draconian and a violation of learners’ rights and provisions of the Basic Education Act.
According to him, the directive is questionable as it was neither published in the Kenya Gazette nor tabled in the National Assembly for debate and approval.
The CBL programme that was to be rolled out on September 2, 2020 is now in limbo; following the ruling.
The Commission has since advised teachers to stay at home; awaiting outcome from the courts.
“Please note that the community based Learning Programme, CBL, has been called off until further notice,” reads a circular in part that has been dispatched to all Curriculum Support Officers, CSOs, and dated August 26, 2020.
“You are requested to inform all teachers to stay at home till advised otherwise,” the circular adds.
According to the CBL schedule released by the Ministry last week, teachers were to undergo a one day induction session on August 28, 2020 ahead of the roll out in September.
The current covid-19 pandemic has seen a prolonged closure of learning institutions, spanning for a period of over 6 months.
There has been a push for the government to reopen learning institutions earlier as opposed to the January 2021 date.
One of the international bodies rooting for early reopening of schools is UNICEF.
“Schools aren’t just places for young people to learn – they offer handwashing facilities, access to nutritious meals and the support of friends and teachers. As COVID-19 lock-downs begin to ease in some countries, schools must open their doors wide to make room for every child, no matter where they live or who they are.” UNICEF says.
Both the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) have urged African states (including Kenya) to promote safe reopening of schools. They say prolonged closure of learning institutions is harmful to the kids.
The government promised to reopen learning institutions, once the infection curves dip; a trend that has been observed for over one week, now.