What you need to know:
- Mr Kahi said the delay in disbursing the funds had crippled the functionality of most teachers, sometimes putting the institutions into financial crisis.
- The Ministry of Education should also reduce some activities in the extra-curriculum calendar that was too congested leading to confusion.
- About 103 national schools had been integrated in ICT and over 600 teachers trained on ICT.
Secondary school principals have placed a raft of demands to the Ministry of Education among them immediate disbursement of the second phase of the school capitation funds.
This is as President Uhuru Kenyatta announced that the government is undertaking a comprehensive programme to expand education sector in readiness to absorb all Class Eight leavers next year.
The Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association (KSSHA) chairman Indimuli Kahi gave the demands to Education Cabinet Secretary (CS) Fred Matiang’i at the Wild Waters Centre in Mombasa during the teachers’ ongoing 42nd annual conference.
Mr Kahi said the delay in disbursing the funds had crippled the functionality of most teachers, sometimes putting the institutions into financial crisis.
“Due to the usual late disbursement, we are not able to plan well and on time. We demand immediate disbursement after this conference,” he said.
Mr Kahi demanded from the CS that the allocation of infrastructure resources be streamlined saying the distribution as of now, was skewed where some schools received the lion’s share, others a little “while a number of them get nothing at all”.
The Ministry of Education should also reduce some activities in the extra-curriculum calendar that was too congested leading to confusion.
“The first curriculum of 2017 that principals received warns us of absenteeism from class but we are confused because the co-curriculum calendar is packed and teachers have to implement it,” said the chairman.
On the management of Kenya Certificate of secondary Education examinations, the chairman asked the ministry to map the country afresh and select positions for the exam containers that are easily accessible by the principals.
“Some containers last year were too far from the principals’ residences forcing some of them to hire accommodation near these centres.
Let the containers be placed nearer the residences to make it easier and cheaper for school heads to reach them in the morning,” he said.
PROMISED TO ACT
In response, Dr Matiang’i agreed with most of the demands and promised to act to streamline grey areas.
“I have reduced the composition of school management boards to nine and revoked the student’s council formation process. Teachers will now be involved in the selection of prefects and school captains to ensure maximum discipline among our students,” he said.
He said the law giving students powers to choose their prefects was wrong in the first place.
“Surely, how do we give children such powers? Calling them presidents, allowing them to sit in the school management board meetings, keeping them at Bomas of Kenya for one week. It makes them feel more bosses than their teachers. This must stop,” said Dr Matiang’i.
President Uhuru Kenyatta in a speech read on his behalf by Dr Matiang’i said his government had invested heavily towards realising quality education for all.
“The objective of the government is to have access, quality and equity in the education sector by all Kenyan students,” he said.
He said the government will direct more resources to the sector including the construction of 2,000 additional classrooms, 1,000 laboratories, 1,000 ablution blocks and investment in Information Communication Technology (ICT).
“We have set aside Sh300 billion per year for ICT and other expansion programmes because the ICT component is very important,” he said.
He said that the Digital Literacy School programme was a reality with 800,000 devices already supplied to institutions and 23,000 primary schools connected to electricity.
In addition, 103 national schools had been integrated in ICT and over 600 teachers trained on ICT.
The President noted that examination cheating and leakages had eroded the country’s credibility and urged teachers to be stricter in managing the 2017 exams.
“Kenyan students should be more globally competitive and we can do this by ensuring our examinations are credible,” he said.