By Simon Cephas
Parents have been urged to take an active role in realizing the importance of International Education Day. These sentiments were echoed by Together 4 Society director Edwin Shamir. He shared this sentiment while commemorating the event at the Kiembeni Estate Primary School, in Kisauni Sub-County, Mombasa.
“It is disheartening that many parents lack awareness of this significant day, despite education being a fundamental pillar for every learner,” Shamir said. Adding that “It is imperative for parents to actively engage in and be informed about International Education Day. Relying solely on teachers and students to shoulder this responsibility is insufficient”
Kiembeni Estate Primary Headteacher (in spectacles) Mr Mwalio and CEO Together 4 Society Edwin Shamir (with a cap) pausing for a group photo with students during International Education Day. Photo/ Simon Cephas
Shamir emphasizes that the responsibility has been disproportionately placed on teachers, education stakeholders, and students, with insufficient involvement of parents in understanding the importance of the day. He notes that a considerable percentage of parents dismiss the significance of the day without realizing its importance for their children.
Furthermore, Shamir mentions that they chose Kiembeni Estate Primary School to connect with students in rural schools who are often overlooked during such celebrations, with the focus typically on urban schools.
He pointed out, "Widespread unawareness among parents underscores the necessity to involve them and provide education to make them aware that a day like today is crucial not just for students and teachers but also for parents."
Shamir also criticized the trend of leaders commemorating events in prominent city schools, neglecting recognition for rural schools.
Mr. Rodgers Mwakio, the school's headteacher, urged parents to send their children to school, emphasizing that a significant percentage has yet to enroll despite government efforts to oversee students' education. He advocated for collaboration with community leaders to ensure a higher attendance rate, urging parents not to use the lack of uniforms or books as excuses.
Kiembeni Estate Primary Teachers and Students pausing for a group photo with visitors from Together 4 Society during International Education Day. Photo/ Simon Cephas
Mwakio expresses gratitude for the government's support with books and various study materials to ensure students receive a quality education. He encouraged school administrators not to expel students for lack of school fees but rather engage in regular discussions with parents to find solutions and allow students to continue their studies.
"We understand the challenges, especially financial ones. I urge my fellow teachers not to send students away for fees but to communicate with parents, understand each other, and let the students continue with their studies,” Mwakio added.
These discussions coincide with the celebration of International Education Day under the theme LEARNING FOR PEACE and come at a time when the principal secretary for education, Belio Kipsang, announced government strategies to ensure no student remains at home starting next week. Reports indicate that approximately 30,000 students are yet to join schools.