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January 17, 2019

Day option better than abolishing boarding

Waa Girls high school,Kwale county./FILE
Waa Girls high school,Kwale county./FILE

The Ministry of Education is considering a plan to phase out public boarding schools in Kenya.

If boarding schools became day schools, it would remove the constraint of bed capacity and government could admit many more students.

There are however some advantages of boarding schools that would be lost.

Boarding schools act as a social mixer, integrating Kenyans from every part of the country. If pupils go only to local primary and secondary schools, they will grow up with a very narrow world view.

Boarding is also essential for pupils in remote rural areas like Turkana.

And public boarding schools also provide a form of affirmative action, picking the brightest pupils irrespective of their social background.

Recently the Education ministry introduced a day option at public boarding schools. The schools are not keen because they fear that they will lose control of discipline if some pupils board and some do not.

But the day option can still provide many extra places for pupils and is a better way forward than abolishing boarding schools altogether.


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Seretse Khama

The first Botswana president died on 13 July, 1980

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