Zambia praises Kenyan government for 1:1 textbook to pupil ratio

Written By: Claire Wanja
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Zambian Permanent Secretary for General education, Dr. Felix Phiri addressing Grade 3 pupils at Technology Primary School in Muranga town.
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A 14 person Zambian Delegation of senior Education Officials have praised the Kenyan government for having ensured every child in Primary and secondary education has a textbook each for every subject studied.

The delegation which led by the Permanent  Secretary for General Education in Zambia, Dr. Felix Phiri said an average of five children shared a textbook in his country.

“We are amazed that Kenya has attained a 1:1 textbook to pupil ratio while Zambia has attained 1:5 textbook to pupil ration,” Dr. Phiri noted saying textbooks helped learners to follow what teachers are teaching.

Mr. Phiri made the remarks at Kagumo Teachers College. The delegation was taken around by Central Regional coordinator for Education (RCE), Stephen O. Barongo.

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The delegation visited Kenya to learn how Kenya had managed to solve textbook distribution to learners in schools and the quality of teacher education and training for learners in basic education levels.

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Mr. Phiri said the quality preparing teachers was determined the quality of teaching and learning going on in the classrooms.

“A teacher cannot deliver a good lesson if he is not well trained,’ Mr. Phiri observed, saying his delegation was also interested in the way Kenya trains teachers for schools.

The Permanent Secretary said Zambia was working on Zambia Education Enhancement Programme (ZEEP) which improves the quality of teaching maths and science in Primary and secondary schools across the country.

The Principal of Kagumo Teachers College, Francis Mwangi said the college had a unique curriculum that exposed trainee teachers to Physical Education and other support subjects that ably prepared them for teaching secondary education curriculum.

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He said the curriculum for the science-based subjects in schools was not only properly taught, but taught for three years contentiously before the students it for the Kenya National Examinations diploma examinations.

Interest in the Diploma awarding college by Zambian delegation was based on the fact that the country is implementing a project which aims at improving the teaching of Mathematics and Sciences in Primary and secondary Education in schools .

The Delegation visited schools in Nyeri and Murang’a Counties. The schools included Thunguma Primary School, and Mahiga Girls secondary school in Nyeri County, Gaturi Girls secondary schools, Technology Primary School Murang’a County among other schools.

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The benchmarking tour provided an opportunity for Education Policymakers in the two countries to share experiences on how best educational services are delivered efficiently and effectively.

The delegation made classroom observations while lessons were being taught, and toured the schools they visited to have a feel of the infrastructure outlay within which teaching and learning take place.

Present during the tour in Nyeri and Murang’a Counties were the National Coordinator for Secondary Education Quality Improvement Project (SEQIP), Mrs. Jane Mbugua, her counterpart in Global Partnership for Education, Early Grade Mathematics Project, and Mrs. Martha Ekirapa, County Education Directors (CDEs) of Nyeri, Mr. Gabriel Obiero and his Murang’a Counterpart, Ms. Anne Kiilu.

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