A disconnect between parents, teachers and students is to blame for the rising cases of unrest in Kenyan schools, according to a new National Assembly Education Committee report.
The report, which was tabled in Parliament on Thursday, says a poor relationship between parents, teachers and learners has created the gulf as students fear addressing their problems or asking for help.
The committee chaired by Tinderet MP Julius Meli wants parents to be in constant communication with learners and teachers.
“The school management should create an enabling environment to foster good relationships between teachers and learners. The ministry should formulate policies to ensure a good working relationship between the three groups is upheld,” the report says.
The lawmakers also want the National Parents Association supported financially to be able to organise forums where learners, parents and teachers can openly interact.
The report warns parents against exposing students to violence and advises them to counsel the youngsters to shun rowdy behaviour.
It says parents should administer discipline with moderation, adding that strictness may lead to rebellion.
“Being overly strict is a cause of unrest in schools. Abuse from parents and lack of opportunity for expression may cause rebellion and mass misconduct,” the report says.
“As the principal beneficiaries to the provision of education, parents should be the first line of oversight on institutions. The National Parents Association should actively evaluate reports of schools and call for action where necessary.”
According to the 35-page document, some 107 schools out 8,900 public and 1,800 private institutions were affected by unrest in 2018.
In 2017, there were 123 cases while the number of schools affected in 2016 were 483.
The committee also wants the Ministry of Education to promote good behaviour by rewarding its workers and guiding them accordingly.
The lawmakers identified deprivation of time for sleep and co-curricular activities as the other factors that lead to unrest in schools.
The report says lack of the two adversely affects the physical and mental health of the learner.
It adds that school programmes are repetitive and monotonous with limited flexibility.
The long second term, according to the committee, also contributes to unrest in schools.
The MPs say it puts undue pressure on learners as their workload greatly increases.
According to the lawmakers, if nothing is done urgently to curb the burning of dormitories and other forms of unrest in schools, it could degenerate into a crisis.