He added the commission will launch voter registration this August and noted that some 18 million voters are targeted. “We want teachers to participate fully in this process and help educate the public on the need to conduct themselves properly during the exercise,” he said.
Kenya National Union of Teachers and the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers noted first term is a crucial term that should not be marred with interruptions.
The two unions united to call for a December poll to avert possible disruption of next year’s Standard Eight and Form Four exams.
“Most schools are used as polling centres. And a good number are used as tallying centres. This means that all schools will have to close because of elections,” said Knut secretary general Okuta Osiany.
Kenya Secondary School Heads Association national chairman Cleopas Tirop termed the development unfortunate.
“We cannot keep children in school during election period. They would rather be with their parents or guardians,” he said.
Education secretary George Godia said the ministry will assess the date and craft a possible programme for that period.
Osiany, however, said schools may remain closed longer in case of a re-run, as provided for in the Constitution. “We just revised the term dates. We are not going to engage in another revision of term dates. We must respect the education of our children just as much as we need elections,” he said.
Kenya National Parents and Teachers Association chair Nathan Baraza said exam registration will be interrupted if elections are to be held in March.
“They should know that parents toil to get school fees for first term as it comes barely a week after December holidays. It will be costly for parents to send children to school and recall them because of elections,” he said. Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka will today give a keynote address after the official opening of the conference by Education minister Mutula Kilonzo.