The Basic Education Regulations, 2015 provides for the official operating hours for all day public or private institutions to be Monday to Friday, Director for Quality Assurance and Standards, Mr. Pius Mutisya has said.
Mr. Mutisya said the regulations designate 8.00 a.m. to 3.30 p.m. for class hours; and 3.30 p.m. to 4.45 p.m. for co-curriculum activities.
The Director clarified that teaching that took place outside 8.00 a.m. to 3.30 p.m. as provided for by the Regulations was illegal
Mr. Mutisya further said that the regulations have provided for official hours for all institutions with boarding facilities to operate 24/7 hour basis as follows:
8.00 a.m. to 3.30 p.m. for class hours Monday to Friday; 3.30 p.m. to 4.45 p.m. for co-curriculum activities Monday to Friday; 5.00 p.m. to 7.30 p.m. for self-directed activities Monday to Friday; 7.30 p.m. to 9.30 p.m. preps Monday to Friday; 9.30 p.m. to 6.00 a.m. bedtime Monday to Friday; and 6.00 a.m. to 8.00 a.m. supervised routine activities.
He said supervised routine activities between 6.00 a.m. to 8.00 a.m. referred to learners engaging in school cleaning, bathing, shoe brushing, and rush and attendance of the Morning assemblies.
“Supervised routine activities between, 5.00 p.m. to 7.30 p.m. for self-directed activities Monday to Friday provides room for positive relaxation of students after participating in the day’s academic and co-curricular programmes,” Mr. Mutisya added.
This is the time students in boarding schools can socialize, discover each other’s strength and weakness and even engage in discussion of the things they have learned or learning.
The Director further noted that the Regulations sought to ensure the safety of the learners by providing that no boarding institution was allowed to send away an unaccompanied learner later than 9.00 a.m.
He said the regulations further ensures the safety of learners while going back to school by providing that 5.00 p.m. shall be latest reporting time for learners to a boarding institution.
On Tuesday, the Cabinet Secretary for Education, Amb Amina Mohamed said schools should adhere to the official operating hours for all day public or private institutions as provided for in the Basic Education Regulations, 2015.
Submitting a report of student discipline and unrest in secondary schools to the Committee on Education and Research of the National Assembly last Monday, Amb Mohamed said that tight school programmes did not provide time for learners to think or play.
“Even as we maintain standards, we must not overstretch our children,” Amb Mohamed said, noting that violation of Official School Hours led students’ frustration with schooling.
Speaking in his office today, Mr. Mutisya said 8.00 a.m. to 3.30 p.m. for class hours the instructional and curriculum policy spelt out was enough to ensure quality and comprehensive coverage of the prescribed curriculum.
“The hours are enough if the lessons teachers delivered in the classroom were well catered for in terms of scheme of work, lessons plans and lesson notes,” Mr. Mutisya clarified.
He dispelled allegations that the curriculum was loaded saying teaching students at odd hours denied them time to have enough sleep.
“When you overload students they get stressed up, suffer from burnout and can easily riot,” Mr. Mutisya said.