Let parents choose between boarding and day schooling for their children

Let parents choose between boarding and day schooling for their children

By Joshua Cheloti

It has been about two months since the government announced plans to abolish boarding schools for learners between grades 1 and 9 in the country.

The plans were first revealed by Education Principal Secretary (PS) Belio Kipsang.

According to PS Kipsang, the policy shift would allow parents more time with children before they go to senior secondary – which will largely be boarding.

Currently, there are boarding primary schools for kids from as young as class 1, but should the government make good their plans, such schools will have to convert back to day schools.

Even though the policy shift is not coming into force anytime soon, I think it’s a bad idea to force day schooling on every parent.

It might be a good idea that the government wants parents to be closer to their children, but then it should be up to that parent to choose how he/she wants to bring up their children.

If a parent is comfortable with a child learning in boarding school from grade 1 up to senior secondary, he/she should be allowed to do so.

There are many reasons why parents take their children to boarding schools at a young age.

Some have job commitments that make it impossible for them to look after their kids on a daily basis.

Some don’t stay in one place for long, will they be moving from one school to another once they get job transfers?

It would make no sense to force such parents to stay with their kids while in a real sense they will have to hire someone else to help them out.

This will beat the same logic the government is hoping to get with planned abolishment – a child being closer to a parent for a long.

I understand the current education system Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) needs daily involvement of both a parent and a teacher in assignments, but that should not be an excuse to force day schooling on everyone.

In any case, CBC is been ongoing in existing boarding primary schools and I think things have been smooth so far.

The Constitution guarantees the right to education to every child, and it’s up to a parent to decide what kind of education is ideal for their children.

Just as one parent might think day schooling is good for his/her kid, the other believes boarding will get the best for their kids – let it be up to the parent to decide, not the government to make that choice.

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