The Long End of Year Break for Secondary and Primary Students
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The Long End of Year Break for Secondary and Primary Students.

The end of the 2018 school calendar is fast approaching with schools expected to break on the 26th of October ushering in a rather long holiday for learners in the country.

It is all smiles for the students as they eagerly anticipate school closure with some even having already formulated a countdown to the closing. Finally, rest and sigh of relief from the books, tight schedules, routines, and the school environment and after all a change is as good as a rest. But there is more to the glam and longing for this particular holiday unlike the previous ones in the first and second terms. This particular holiday will see them away from school for two months.

Parents Condemn Holiday

Of course, everyone needs a break now and then: teachers, pupils and parents alike. And its lovely to press pause and spend time with family and friends, but many Kenyan parents argue that nine weeks is just too long and would appear to cause more harm than good. Most of them have come out to criticize the long holiday citing several reasons and fears among them include

  • Conventional

The argument is that long school holidays are an antiquated relic of the past, where long school holiday would be welcomed as they would mean that the student could help out in the farms which would, in turn, reflect to bountiful harvest for their families echoing that it hardly applies to today's generation that concentrates on technology.

  • Crime and drug abuse

Given that most children will stay home unsupervised, some working parents express concern that their children may be recruited into crime, engage in illicit sex while also participating in drug abuse. Some have also allayed fears that their might being idle and having too much time on their hands might be recruited and radicalized into terror groups after all an idol mind is the devils workshop.

  • Financial Constraints

Parents fear that they will get financially overwhelmed by the youngsters' needs bearing in mind the demanding festive season that is bound to follow apprehensive of the rough economic times in a country where they are forced to seek private solutions to public problems noting that the private solutions cost money.

  • Technology

With today's technologically overloaded students, an emerging concern against the long holiday is the increased chances of deviation from constructive activities. With most students languishing in front of glowing screens and mobile phones for the entire holiday season.

  • Abolition of Holiday Tuition

Following the government’s move to ban holiday tuition in the country, parents argue that the long holiday is likely to cause students to forget what they have been learning explaining that with the movies and video games, they tend to slip away from study habits and become weary from so much time not working. A move that is seen to be more damaging especially to students who need extra support that they cannot find outside the school.


It is true that the long holiday has parents caught between a rock and a hard place. But many teachers and educationists have come out strongly to field the argument that school isn’t a babysitting service and the long holiday is needed to allow both the teacher and pupils get proper rest and recuperation enabling respite from the stresses and struggles of the classroom.

Educationist also emphasizes the importance of the long holiday citing that schools have become overly academic, and too exam focused in recent years. Hence the consideration of a more extended holiday break from what they refer to as a marathon of pumping knowledge to give learners a chance to learn and as an opportunity to explore the world outside the confines of school.


The Ministry of Education determines school term dates and holidays in Kenya. The ministry generally releases the official school term and holiday dates for the next year at the end of the current year.

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