Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has dismissed claims that the wave of unrest in schools is the result of his decision to extend the second term.
Dr Matiang’i said the rules were introduced recently and therefore cannot be blamed for student strikes.
KNUT Secretary Wilson Sossion has attributed the unrest to the extension of the second term and shortened holidays.
“The burning of schools is a reaction from students all over the country and ought to be addressed as a matter of urgency,” Mr Sossion said.
He added that it is unreasonable for the Ministry of Education to keep students in school from May to late October with a break of only two weeks.
KNUT-Secretary criticised the scrapping of mid-term breaks in the third term, saying the decision was uncalled for since the breaks were introduced to ease pressure on students and prevent unrest.
Dr Matiang’i last month reorganised the school calendar and made changes in the administration of national examinations as a way of curbing cheating.
DR Matiang’i did not only ban half term but he also prohibited all social activities in the third term — including prayer days, visiting, sports, prize-giving ceremonies and annual general meetings — to cut contact between candidates and outsiders.
He also shortened the period for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exams from six weeks to four and put headteachers directly in charge of the tests in their respective schools.
The exams are currently controlled by supervisors hired by the Kenyan National Examinations Council from within the teaching fraternity.
To accommodate the changes, term two, initially scheduled to end on August 5, was extended to August 12, shortening the holidays to only two weeks from the previous four.
The third term will last only nine weeks, compared with the previous 12, beginning on August 29 and ending on October 28.