The Government has set strict timelines for learning and co-curriculum activities for both day and boarding schools.
Classes will be expected to start at 8am and end at 3.30pm, according to new regulations gazzetted by Education Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi.
Co-curriculum activities will be carried out strictly between 3.30pm to 4.45pm for day schools.
Class hours for boarding schools will be the same as those of day schools, but learners in the former will have an additional 15 minutes for co-curriculum activities.
The time between 7.30pm and 9.30pm shall be used for evening studies.
Students in boarding schools will be expected to sleeping between 9.30pm and 6am. Supervised routine activities shall be carried out between 6am and 8am.
Kaimenyi says, in the new regulations, that no day institution of basic education and training shall require learners to report earlier than 7.15am without the written authority of the County Director of Education (CDE).
The regulations demand that no boarding institution shall send home an unaccompanied learner later than 9am. At the latest, the reporting time to a boarding institution shall be 6.30pm subject to proven travel challenges.
The regulations have set six years as the minimum entry age for a child to Standard One. This means that pupils are expected to sit Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examinations at the age of about 14 years.
During admission, no one shall deny a learner of school-going age admission to a public primary school for lack of proof of age.
There shall be no entry examinations, interviews or entry charges levied during admission, says the regulations.
The document says under Section 39, that no public school or institution shall issue an alternative fees structure other than those approved by the cabinet secretary.
Section 15 reads: “Any person, head of institution or any member of the Board of Management who sends away a learner due to non-payment of activity fees by the learners’ parent or guardian without a written authority from the County Director of Education commits an offence under the Act.”
The members of the Board of Management of an institution, which contravenes these regulations, shall jointly and severally be guilty of an offence under the Act.
The new regulations want every institution to subject school rules and regulations to public participation before they are adopted.
The new rules say that learners shall be deemed to be indisciplined if they involve themselves in fights, bullying, stealing, playing truant, cheating on examinations or abusing teachers or persons in authority.
They shall also be individually liable if they defy lawful instructions, traffic in drugs or substances of abuse and if they engage in any other conduct categorised as indiscipline.
Mass discipline shall apply when learners carry out unlawful demonstrations, boycott classes or meals, destroy school property or invade other institutions, shopping centres or homesteads.
If the acts of indiscipline persist in spite of warnings or corrective measures, suspension letters will be issued.
By Augustine Oduor, The Standard