‘Safest place!’ Sonko opposes govt’s plan to abolish boarding schools

By , K24 Digital
On Wed, 7 Dec, 2022 15:17 | 2 mins read
'Safest place!' Sonko opposes gov't's plan to abolish boarding schools
Mike Sonko during a Facebook live session on Saturday, July 16. PHOTO/Facebook

Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has opposed plans to abolish boarding primary schools in the country.

In a statement on Wednesday, December 7, the former county boss said the plans by the government were ill-advised.

The outspoken politician and philanthropist said boarding schools are a safe haven for some students, especially those coming from broken families.

He urged the Kenya Kwanza administration to allow more consultation on the matter before being rollout.

"In my own opinion, I think the move is ill-advised. For some children, a boarding school is the best and safest place to be away from chaotic marriages, torture from stepfathers/mothers, uncles and aunts etc. Not forgetting orphans," Sonko said.

"Also, single mothers and slay queens who are hustling normally bring different men/uncles to their homes when their kids are away in boarding schools. There's no way I can criticise the same Government which I serve and fought for but I think there's still room for discussions and negotiations."

Boarding schools shocker

Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang yesterday hinted at the State's plan to phase out boarding schools from next year.

The PS said the move will give parents adequate time to interact and mould their children to become responsible citizens as opposed to the current situation where learners spend most of their time away from their parents. 

Kipsang emphasised that the government was keen to ensuring that learners, especially in Grade One up to Grade Nine, are domiciled in day schools as part of strengthening parental engagement for quality learning.

“I urge parents that it is our primary responsibility as first educators to walk with our children. As we move forward, day schooling will be the direction because that is the only way we shall be able to engage with our children,” he Kipsang.

The PS made the remarks during the ongoing 18th edition of Kenya Primary Schools Head Teachers Association annual General meeting and conference in Mombasa.

Kipsang further noted that day schooling concept is one of the critical terms of reference for the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms, noting that Kenya has the highest number of children in boarding schools globally.

This is despite 70 per cent of learning institutions in the country being day schools.

“This country is one of the rare countries where 28 per cent of our children are in boarding schools. Globally, rarely will you get any country that goes beyond 15 per cent. Ours is the highest anywhere so we need to start socialising ourselves that we need to be with our children and the only way we shall be with our children is for them to be in day schools,” he explained.

“I am a parent and even ourselves as head teachers we cannot outsource our responsibilities. We must remain with our responsibilities. We co-parent with teachers but we do not outsource parenting to teachers, and therefore we must walk together towards making our children acquire the values we expect of them,” he added.