11 January 2013

Kenya: Parents Close Down Kitui School Over New Principal

Irate parents on Wednesday stormed the Muthamo Secondary School in Kitui West and closed it down a day after it had been reopened.

The parents were angered by the Kitui Teachers Service Commission deputy director who had allegedly imposed Joshua Mutembei as the new school principal against their wishes.

The parents withdrew their students from the school in opposition to the transfer of principal Willy Munyoki. "Our actions were motivated by TSC's move to transfer Munyoki and replace him with Mutembei against our wishes. We would rather have our children out of the school than have Mutembei as the head," said the school's board chair, Benjamin Masila.

He said the parents wrote a protest letter to TSC when they heard that Mutembei was to be transfered to the school. "We are opposed to him because we know his history. He previously served as the deputy principal at Muthamo where he had been demoted to a classroom teacher over several issues," said Masila.

He said the parents will only return their children to school if the government revokes Munyoki's transfer. "Parents have made their point by pulling out their children because neither the TSC nor the ministry has acted on our grievances," said the BOG chairman.

Efforts to get a comment from the Kitui director of education, Pascal Makite, were futile as he was not in his office and did not answer our calls. It is reported that parents met education officials yesterday to find a way forward.

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