Kenyan Education Minister Ezekiel Machogu has ordered that day primary and high schools should operate between 8 am and 3:45 pm practically banning any morning and night preps.
According to Mr. Machogu, the current curriculum causes mental torture on pupils by setting school days to start at needless early hours.
Addressing the media from Nairobi, the Capital of Kenya, Mr. Machogu noted that schools should adjust to the normal school calendar, noting that the recommended time is adequate to cover the syllabus in the required time.
“We have given very clear instructions as a ministry and taking into consideration the coverage of the syllabus. The syllabus will be adequately and properly covered from 8am to 3:45pm. Let us not subject our pupils to unnecessary mental torture,” he told local media.
The Education ministry boss further cited examples from the early hours of day-schooling pupils and students wake up and then return home late.
This, he noted, is affecting the mental health of many learners and should be granted more time to rest and engage in extra-curriculum activities.
“We are subjecting our pupils, including those in PP1 and PP2, to unnecessary struggle because I have seen areas where they start their school day at 7 am and end it at 5 pm and even others at 6 pm,” he noted.
“You find a 5-year-old kid is woken up at 5:00 am, taken to school, and leave school after 5:00 pm. This is even affecting the mental health of our young pupils. We want them to have enough rest and engage in sports. We don’t want to subject them to a lot of unnecessary strain,” he added.
“Even the time for sleep for these young ones should be for around 9 to 10 hours. Let us make learning as natural as possible. We are not going to allow that because once it continues it will affect the mental health of our children.”
The CS at the same time said the government is looking into subjects that Junior Secondary School (JSS) that students will cover.
‘‘As a ministry, we are also concerned with the number of subjects the children are going to cover in the new set-up. There are many and we will streamline so that it is not a burden,’’ explained Machogu.
In the current set-up, the government has approved 12 compulsory learning areas with students expected to choose a maximum of two optional subjects.
They include Mathematics, English, Kiswahili, Agriculture, Integrated Science, Health Education, Social Studies and Religious Education (Christian, Islamic, Hindu).
Others are Pre-Technical and Pre-Career Education, Business Studies, Life Skills, Sports and Physical Education.
In addition, learners will be required to do a minimum of one and a maximum of two optional subjects from Virtual Arts, Performing Arts, Home Science, Computer Science, Foreign Language (French, Germany, Arabic), Indigenous language or Sign Language.