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Kenyan parents risk prison in tough schools Bill

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Denzel Musumba

Denzel Musumba

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Parents who fail to send their children to school will be jailed if a new Bill becomes law.They will be fined Sh5,000 or a one-year jail term, the Bill proposes. Expulsion and being forced to repeat classes will also be outlawed.Entry tests will be banned and no child will be denied admission to any public primary school of their choice for any reason.However, a child who fails to cope with school life due to mental, physical or psychological reasons can be sent away with the permission of the Minister for Education, now re-designated Education Secretary.But that child must be admitted to a correctional institution that will suit their needs. The Bill outlaws employing school-age children and protects them from torture.“Any person who employs or prevents a child who is subject to compulsory attendance from attending school is guilty of an offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding five million shillings or to a period not exceeding five years in jail or to both,” says the Bill.

The Bill, published by Education minister Mutula Kilonzo, was prepared after a series of consultations.

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