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Page last updated at 10:05 GMT, Wednesday, 13 August 2008 11:05 UK

Kenya bans holiday school tuition

School students in Kenya
Concerns have been raised about the strain students are under

The Kenyan government has banned extra holiday tuition for students in private and public schools.

Education Permanent Secretary Karega said children need to rest during holidays and not do extra work.

Concerns were raised about the strain students are under after more than 300 secondary schools experienced riots.

A parliamentary committee set up to probe the unrest interviewed students who complained about an overloaded curriculum and long school terms.

At least 200 students were arrested following the riots in the last few months, in which property worth millions was destroyed.

Praise

The move has been welcomed by the National Parents Association, which says it will help students relax after long school terms, Kenya's Daily Nation newspaper reports.

Parents also need to spend time with their children
KSSHA chairman Cleophas Tirop

Parents have previously complained that tuition fees were exorbitant and an extra burden on family finances.

The chairman of the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) also praised the decision.

"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy," KNUT chairman, Mr David Wesonga.

"Parents also need to spend time with their children," said Cleophas Tirop, the Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association (KSSHA) chairman.

However, the government will allow extra teaching for academically weak students under ministry supervision.

Kenya introduced free secondary education in 2007, following the successful implementation of universal free primary education in 2002.

President Mwai Kibaki said the government would pay tuition fees for students, while parents would meet boarding costs and buy uniforms.

However, the free secondary education programme has been hit by a shortage of funding, which has threatened to cripple operations in some schools.

The programme hopes to raise student enrolment in secondary schools to 1.4 million by the end of the year.




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