Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu has reiterated his stance that students throughout the country should not be required to wear similar school uniforms.
Cs Machogu made these remarks on Tuesday during his appearance before the National Assembly Committee on Implementation. He was responding to allegations that his Ministry had been hesitant to adopt a proposal put forward by lawmakers.
The CS explained that the diversity of climatic conditions across the nation made it impractical for all pupils and students to wear standardised uniforms.
Some regions experience severe cold weather, while others require lightweight clothing due to high temperatures.
He also emphasized that different uniforms carry distinct cultural and traditional significance.
“School uniform has become some kind of tradition. Again, the climatic and weather conditions of this country vary from one place to another,” Machogu explained.
He provided an example, saying, “For instance, in a place like Timboroa, where temperatures can be very low, sweaters may be necessary, but the same may not be required in other areas, such as Turkana.”
The committee had previously advised the Ministry to develop a policy to prevent cartels from colluding with school principals to compel parents to purchase uniforms from specific shops. However, Machogu remained firm in his position, stating that he had issued a circular to all schools, advising parents not to succumb to the manipulation of principals.
The committee responded by pointing out that a circular is not the same as a formal policy. They suggested that a comprehensive policy on uniform standardization and production in the country should be established.
The idea of standardizing uniforms across the country was initially proposed by the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms (PWPER).
Public Service CS Moses Kuria also advocated for this policy in January, arguing that schools should not be involved in selling uniforms.
Kuria stated that the focus of the Ministry of Education should be on academics and supporting the transition to the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) and other educational objectives.