The Controversy Surrounding Remedial Classes: Education Ministry’s Warning

In the constantly changing education landscape, remedial classes’ role has incited controversy; this uncertainty leaves parents and teachers befuddled. The Ministry of Education in Kenya issued a stern warning—schools should be wary of implementing these remedial classes labeled as illegal programs. This article delves deep into the crux of this issue: it explores not only the concerns articulated by the Ministry but also its implications for both students and educators alike.

Belio Kipsang, the Basic Education Principal Secretary and a prominent figure in Kenya’s education system, voiced his disquiet regarding an ongoing issue: certain school heads persistently impose illegal levies on parents to fund teachers conducting remedial teaching. This practice – raising both eyebrows and questions about the necessity of such additional educational hours – continues unabated.

“Extra hours, purportedly for remedial teaching, are inexplicable,” asserts Kipsang unambiguously; he posits that the Ministry-prescribed regular teaching hours suffice to imbue students with requisite skills—competencies and knowledge—to excel on their exams. He views remedial instruction—and its ensuing levies—as an undue financial imposition on parents.

“Under the name of remedial teaching, we had acquired a bad reputation because of extra levies,” lamented Kipsang. This statement highlights; indeed underscores–the Ministry’s worry: the financial impact that such remedial classes could have on families already struggling with education costs.

Not merely content with words, Kipsang took decisive action: he directly implored the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to contemplate punitive measures against any teachers contesting the Ministry’s policy on remedial teaching. Such an urgent call for accountability underlines–with unmistakable severity–the gravity ascribed by the Ministry to this issue; it is not one they take lightly.

Kipsang issued his intriguingly timed warning as primary and secondary schools were preparing for impending national exams: the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and Kenya Primary School Education Assessment (KPSEA) – set to kick off on October 30; subsequently followed by the commencement of the Kenya Certificate Secondary Education (KCSE) exams on November 3. This active effort from the Ministry seeks—above all—to ensure these crucial examinations’ credibility.

“Regaining society’s trust by conducting this year’s national examinations with the highest level of honesty is necessary”, Kipsang emphasized; as officers deployed to oversee these exams, he articulated – “We must guard against any form of malpractice: our actions will determine the credibility, validity and reliability of these examinations.”

Far from existing in isolation, the controversy surrounding remedial classes is currently a topic of hot debate; recently, The Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) issued a statement: contracted professionals–examiners and assessors alike–are now under strict orders to refrain from participating in activities that might compromise their integrity. With this move, they aim to curb instances of cheating during examinations.

One certainty emerges amidst the ongoing debate: The Ministry’s admonition against remedial classes illuminates the intricate complexities and challenges suffusing Kenya’s education system. This accentuates–particularly during examination periods–the vital necessity of upholding trust and credibility within the educational sector.


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