The decision by the government to close schools that do not meet standards has come to haunt Malindi Sub County Director of Education Veronica Kalungu.
Private school owners, teachers, and parents held a peaceful demonstration in Malindi town protesting against the conduct of Ms. Kalungu, accusing her of arbitrarily closing schools and arresting teachers for allegedly lacking documents.
Waving placards and chanting slogans, the protesters, who marched from Ndugu Mnani to farming areas in the outskirts of Malindi Town, called for the immediate transfer of the education official, accusing her of arrogance and high-handedness.
They said more than 300 students were affected by the closure of at least 12 schools at a time when the just concluded Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examinations were about to start.
“What is the rationale of closing schools which have candidates about to sit their final examinations?,” posed Faith Nyevu, a parent of a KCPE candidate.
She said her child was forced to join a public school and feared that he would not perform as expected due to the disturbance.
At the same time, some teachers from public schools have also demanded the transfer of Kalungu, accusing her of arrogance.
In a two page memo seen by KNA, the teachers accused the education official of arrogance that they claimed resulted from her connections at the Ministry of Education Headquarters.
Contacted, Kalungu declined to comment over the matter, while Kilifi County Director of Education Eunice Khaemba also said she could not speak about the issue since she had not been briefed on the same.
“I will not say anything outside the administration of the examinations. In any case, the matter has not been brought to my desk and I am not in a position to comment,” said Khaemba who was in Malindi to oversee the KCPE examinations, in the presence of Kalungu and Malindi Deputy County Commissioner Kamau Kanung’o.