Seventeen Form four students at Kabianga Boys High school, Kericho have been suspended after the Seventh-day Adventist faithfuls refused to take exams that were scheduled on Sabbath which would have led them to breaking the Sabbath commandment of rest.
The school principal Dr Joash Oloo, in a letter to the parents stated that the students were kicked out of the school for “failing to write an assessment test offered on schedule.” The schedule, he failed to mention was contravening with other students right of worship.
The students have in turn written back to the school demanding within 7 days an unconditional apology and the purging of the suspension from their student records.
Through their lawyer, Julius Mongare Matonya, the students argue that the school principal is in violation of their constitutional rights to education and right to worship unimpeded.
“The constitutional allows freedom of worship. Even the Education Act recognises the fact that each and every student must be allowed a day for worship and it must be respected,” he said.
The school principle, as reported by The Standard did not back down from his position challenging the parents to instead find a school that would accommodate their Sabbath worship.
“We notified the parents through SMS. In a situation where we are neither suspending nor expelling a student, we expect the parent to come over to the school so that we can engage,” he said. He reminded the Adventists that there are specific missionary schools for parents who feel aggrieved by the school action.
“The Seventh Day Adventist students don’t do anything on Saturdays from 8am to 6pm. Where then is the problem for them to sit for their examination between 5am and 7:30 am,” asked Dr Oloo.He added, “Why do they want to remain in the dorms sleeping whereas Muslims and Protestants didn’t sleep on Friday and Sunday respectively?”The principal said that they expect students to be rational.
The Ministry of Education is yet to comment on the matter as it seems the Principal is trying to impose his religious beliefs on Adventists students and he is gravely misinformed about the Sabbath and Sabbath commandment.
The previous Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i had warned schools to avoid scheduling classes or exams on Sabbath or Sunday to accommodate the religious beliefs of Adventists and other christians.
Source: End Times News, Saturday Sabbath