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The East African : October 21st 2013
3 OCTOBER 19-25, 2013 CELEBRATING KENYA@ 50 #WeAreOne The EastAfrican WHAT FAILS OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM IS NOT LACK OF FINANCES AND QUALIFIED HUMAN RESOURCES. BUT, OUR CONTINUED FAILURE TO INVEST AVAILABLE RESOURCES STRATEGICALLY AND WHERE THEY ARE NEEDED MOST. HURDLES of Curriculum Development, are all set to be reformed and made more responsive and effective. In the past 50 years we cel- ebrate the fact that we have managed to lay good and solid foundation for the expansion of education and training oppor- tunities, but also for the growth and sustainability of the educa- tion system. But here is where our celebra- tion ends. As we celebrate 50 years of In- dependence, the education sector is facing major challenges and gaps. Data from the Ministry of Education, researchers and prac- titioners shows that our educa- tion system faces the “whole sys- tem” challenges. These strategic challenges include: • There are almost two million school-age children who are cur- rently out of school. And are not able to access quality basic edu- cation for all; which is their con- stitutional right; • The quality of basic and even higher education is very low compared with other coun- tries with the same or lower GDP per capita as Kenya. The avail- able teaching-learning resources (books) are not enough and pro- mote rote learning; • In the past 10 years, about 200,000 young Kenyans have been pushed out of the education system annually and terminate their learning at primary school level. And in five years they join the illiterate group. • Our education system lacks about 100,000 teachers to effec- tively and efficiently manage our schools and teaching-learning processes. The teacher-pupil ra- tio at primary school is about 1: 80 instead of the recommended 1:40 for a developing country. • Many public schools have limited infrastructure (e.g. class- rooms and water/sanitation). If Numbe≥ of pupils has g≥own 10-fold Teacher- student ratio is still low, but this has not slowed down enrolment. they exist, they are dilapidated and not conducive for effective learning. In 2013, pupils still learn under trees or lack desks in some counties. • Most teachers are demoti- vated and remain in the class- rooms just because there is no better alternative. Their salaries and working conditions are low compared with others in other professions. • There are millions of hungry and angry school-going children in arid and semi-arid lands re- gions and urban slums who need health, shelter and education support. What fails our education sys- tem is not lack of finances and qualified human resources. But, our continued failure to invest available resources strategical- ly and where they are needed most.
October 12th 2013
October 26th 2013