August elections could disrupt school calendar

Most facilities are used as polling stations and tallying centres

In Summary

• The 2022 calendar will start in April, this will be a rush against time to return it to normalcy, the traditional January to December cycle.

• Primary and secondary schools will still be open for term 2 which starts July 11.

The 2022 school calendar.
The 2022 school calendar.
Image: The Star

Schools could be disrupted as the country prepares for the August 9 general election, as most of them are used as polling or tallying centres.

This complicates the possibility of teaching and learning to take place as usual.

The 2022 calendar will start in April,  another a rush against time to return it to normalcy — the traditional January to December cycle.

Primary and secondary schools will still be open for term 2, which starts on July 11.

It will run for 10 weeks to September 17.

Nicholas Maiyo, the National Parents Association chairman, says it would need schools to close some few days before elections to allow for the preparation of the polling centres.

Maiyo says the political temperatures could send the fear of unrest leading to panic closure of some institutions.

“This is a scenario all education stakeholders need to sit and review the calendar to accommodate for the election period,” he said.

In his suggestions, he says, the institutions could be forced to take early mid-term that could be extended from three days to one week or even beyond.

The midterm is slated for three days between August 11-14.

“We can take a one week break with schools closing on August 7 to give way to elections and hopefully things go back to normal and the learners return by August 14,” Maiyo said.

“Anything outside this will be detrimental to the school calendar.”

However, there is fear that a prolonged shutdown could delay syllabus coverage for the classes sitting 2022 national exams in November and December.

For the 2022 calendar, schools will reopen for term 1 on April 24 for a 10-week span that ends on July 1.

The second term will run between July 11 and September 16, while the third term is slated for September 26 to November 25.

Those in Std 7 and Form 3 will sit their KCPE and KCSE examinations between November and December.

KCPE exam will run between November 28 and December 1, while KCSE tests will be done from December 1 to December 23.

“We have a short period to prepare the candidates, so shutting schools for more than a week will harm the calendar,” Indimuli Kahi the Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association chairman said.

During the same period, primary schools will administer the national assessment for the pioneer cohort of the competency-based curriculum.

It is expected that, by the end of 2022, all the time lost during the school closure will have been recovered and in January 2023, the academic calendar will have gone back to normal.

Edited by Kiilu Damaris

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