The Governor for Homa Bay County, Cyprian Owiti has underscored the central role quality education in implementing the four-pronged economic development of the National Government.
He said quality education was central to food security, affordable housing, manufacturing and affordable healthcare, saying country should not overlook the desired educational outcomes that will drive the other sectors of the economy.
The Governor made the remarks when a Joint Mission of the Government and World Bank paid a courtesy call in his office on Friday.
The Mission, led by the Director for Special Needs Education, Mrs. Maria Cherono, carried out an inspection effectiveness of the Kenya Primary Education Development Project (PRIEDE) in the County.
The Project seeks to strengthen Early Grade Mathematics in 1 and 2 in Public Primary Schools throughout the country as well as to strengthen the management system at school and national levels.
It is sponsored by Global Partnerships of Education (GPE), on a grant of 88.4 million USD and its implementation is being supervised by the World Bank. It targets all class 1 and 2 pupils in all public Primary Schools, but identified 4,000 countrywide, and 131 schools in Homa Bay, for support on account of their dismal performance in KCPE in 2012 and 2013.
Governor Owiti praised the project saying the focus on competencies was would improve the quality of education children needed.
He said although Early Childhood Development and Education was devolved, the National Government should continue giving policy and other logistical support to ensure children were properly prepared to start Primary education.
He, however, complained about early teenage marriages in the County, saying this was compromising the education of girls in the area.
Cherono underscored the importance of County Government in the overall education of children saying education from the earliest levels to university levels was a continuous whole.
She said the focus of national government is quality learning outcomes noting that the National government was as keener to see learners in Pre-Primary education level access appropriate educational experience as a preparation for Primary education.
Cherono thanked the Governor for the support his government was giving educational officers in the area, saying enhanced community participation, and parental involvement in the education of their children would ensure children got quality learning experience once in school.
World Bank Senior Education Specialist, Mrs. Ruth Charo said the critical issue policy makers were concerned about is that children should be learning once they get in school, saying this would define the quality of the workforce educational institutions release into the economy.
Teachers Service Commission’s Acting Director Teacher Management, Mrs. Mary Rotich expressed the need for County Government to recruit TSC registered teachers for their ECD Schools.
She added that TSC was keen on the teachers with appropriate knowledge and skills to provide the instructional experience children need.
Rotich reminded teachers of professional integrity, saying immoral behaviour between teacher and the learner was unethical and TSC would not tolerate it.
Present during the occasion included, Deputy Hamilton Orata, area County Commissioner, Mr. Irungu Macharia, the National Coordinator of the Project, Mrs. Martha Ekirapa, the area County Director of Education, Mrs. Margaret Muandale, the Area TSC County Director, Mrs. Beatrice Akala, the Director of ICT, and Mrs. Lynne Nyongesa among others.