In court papers that the ministry failed to implement the orders and when asked to explain their inaction said county officials had failed to submit the necessary application
By Ivy Maloy
The Ministry of Education and the National Land Commission (NLC) have been sued over a parcel of land where Kiembeni Baptist Primary School stands.
Abdulrahman Mohammed, whose children attend the school in Bamburi, wants ministry officials to be temporarily restrained from converting, dealing with or changing the management of the school. He also wants the school’s board of management, of which he is the chairman, to be allowed to start enrolling pupils in vacant streams in nursery to Standard Seven.
The High Court had previously ordered the ministry to register Kiembeni Baptist as a private school. Mr Mohammed said Registered Trustees of Baptist Convention of Kenya had obtained court orders including that the operation of the school by the ministry without their consent violated their rights to property on the land.
He says in court papers that the ministry failed to implement the orders and when asked to explain their inaction said county officials had failed to submit the necessary application and consent under Section 15 of the Education Act.
Mr Mohamed, who has also sued the Attorney-General, says further orders were issued in 2015 barring the ministry from registering new pupils. He also says that the court said the ministry was at liberty to pursue a review application, which, if successful, would allow Kiembeni Baptist to revert to a public school.
Mr Mohammed says the ministry had not taken any steps to move to court for a hearing of a review application despite having been granted the liberty to do. “The status of the school remains unclear with the admission process frozen since 2015. Consequently, children in the area have had their chances of benefitting from the free basic education thwarted as the school remains inaccessible to them,” he says.
The petitioner says that since admissions were frozen in 2015, the school has only one stream, which consists of Standard Seven pupils. Mr Mohammed says the school has teachers who have no work despite drawing salaries from the Teachers Service Commission.
“NLC, which was presented with a complaint of injustice over the land where the school stands, is yet to present its findings,” he says in court documents.
NLC’s inaction, he says, has enhanced uncertainty over the status of the school, with children losing out.
“The freezing of admission in the school has left neighboring schools in the area with the pressure of excessive intake and a strained pupil to teacher ratio thus affecting the quality of public education system within the locality,” he says.
He wants the court to declare that inaction by the ministry and NLC are a gross violation of the children’s right to free and compulsory basic education. The NLC’s failure to issue its findings, he says, should be declared a gross violation of the right to property.