High Court Allows ‘Old’ High School Students to Participate in Games

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The High Court on Monday ruled that secondary school students aged over 19 years should not be barred from taking part in sports.

This was in response to a case by a parent who challenged some regulations by the Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association (KSSSA).

The woman who has a daughter in high school argued that by imposing an age limit, KSSSA failed to appreciate the fact that though in the minority, some students begin their education at an advanced age for a number of reasons.

She told the court that participation in school-related activities nurtures attributes like discipline and is a right every student should freely enjoy.

Since every student pays for sports as part of school fees, all are entitled to participate in an activity of their choice regardless of their age, she argued as quoted by Daily Nation.

KSSSA and the Attorney-General did not respond to the issues raised.

In his ruling, Justice Eric Ogola said a regulation stopping such learners from participating in sports or other events is discriminatory

“It is the finding of this Court that Section 17 (iii) of the KSSSA constitution breaches the Constitution, is discriminatory and falls short of the values established under the law, is unconstitutional and invalid and is hereby declared so,” Ogola said.

“The question is: Is the 19-year-old in that school lawfully? Is the learner entitled to education? Is he or she entitled to participate in and enjoy local and international sports competition?” the judge asked. “Does he or she pay school fees which includes sports activities? More paramount, is he or she an alien to the Constitution?”

Justice Ogola said KSSSA and the ministry of Education cannot be excused for disobeying the Constitution and the court in failing to respond even after being given enough time to do so.

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