Principal Secretary (PS), State Department for Basic Education, Dr Belio Kipsang, has affirmed government’s commitment to a 100 pc transition and retention of students in secondary schools.
Speaking during a consultative meeting with Coast Region County Commissioners, County Directors of Education and County Directors of Teachers Service Commission (TSC) in Mombasa, the PS called for a common approach in government service delivery by state officers.
The meeting discussed strategic education issues to be dealt with, including performance and resolving challenges emanating from the El-Niño rains that affected school infrastructure in Tana River County.
The County Commissioners and County Directors of Education were adequately guided on what needs to be done to address the challenge of grade Es in KCSE examination.
“As you’re all aware the Cabinet Secretary came out very clearly that we need to understand and to be able to check adequately, cases of children who score Es. We have 48,000 of them, which constitute almost five percent of our children,” said Dr Kipsang.
The PS called for concerted efforts among education stakeholders, to make sure learners get a return on the investment the government has put in the education sector and transit to universities and TVETs.
“That is a huge wastage that must be addressed and dealt with adequately, so that more of our kids can transition going forward, into the next level of being productive to the society and the country,” stated Dr Kipsang.
He noted that the government is spending 30 pc of its resources in the education sector, adding “The government spent about Ksh 650 billion this year and therefore, we must be able to see a return in that particular investment.”
National government administration officers (NGAO), were directed to increase and regularize school visitations, to support teachers in curriculum delivery and assessment.
The visitations the PS explained will enable the government to understand better the environments in which learners and teachers operate, the government will be able to provide support to teachers at the school level.
The PS implored the County Commissioners to ensure adherence to government policies, including the fees guideline to curb extortion of parents by unscrupulous school heads.
Multi-agency teams are to be headed by County Commissioners, to effect the directive on policies.
“We have said that in our junior schools, there should be no levies that are charged on our parents because already the government is paying Sh15,000 per child,” said Dr Kipsang.
The PS assured teachers that their security is guaranteed but added, however, that incompetence will not be tolerated and the teachers are expected to deliver.
Parents were urged to follow laid-down structures to address their grievances against teachers, instead of taking the law into their hands.
TSC Coast Region Director, Juliet Kariuki, assured that TSC is committed to posting teachers to serve in schools, albeit the government has continued to provide money to recruit and employ teachers, staffing challenges still exist.
“We continue to add those teachers as we recruit them, especially in the far-flung counties such as Lamu and Tana River, we still have positions that require teachers. We have left the portal open, so that qualified teachers continue to apply and we retain them there,” said Kariuki.