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Jubilee Dev-Kshs 20 billion investment boost to improve quality of education in 10000 schools

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Kshs 20 billion investment to boost quality education in 10,000 schools
By Augustine Oduor

Published: Sep 20th 2017 at 23:54, Updated: Sep 20th 2017 at 23:54


Pupils at Mukambi Primary School in Mumias in Kakamega County with their teacher, Mary Alusa, during a class session with newly supplied digital learning gadgets. After boosting numbers under the Free Primary Education programme, the Ministry of Education has now moved to boost quality.[File,Standard]
More than 10,000 schools will have their learning facilities overhauled and receive more teachers and textbooks starting January next year. Targeted in the Sh20 billion project to boost quality are some 7,852 primary and 2,147 secondary schools in 30 counties. The schools selected will receive more teachers and textbooks, as well as new classrooms, dormitories, science laboratories and multi-purpose rooms.
They will also get refurbished toilet and water facilities, besides having ageing, unsafe structures replaced.
At least 100 selected schools will have modern ICT-enabled training facilities constructed, including ICT equipment, five computers, one projector and a printer. This is expected to be used to pilot virtual science labs in secondary schools.

According to a brief seen by The Standard, the Secondary Education Quality Improvement Project (SEQIP) will focus on improving the quality of basic education and curb wastage caused by high student dropout rates.
The brief states that while substantial progress had been made since 2003 – when free primary education was introduced – in improving access and at all levels of education, quality education was still a key challenge in Kenya. The document cites poor learning conditions and limited opportunities for students in the marginalised regions of the country as some of the key challenges faced in seeking quality.

“Many schools are inadequately resourced, lacking not only teachers and teaching/learning materials but also the minimum facilities for students to learn,” reads the brief.In a strategy paper dubbed ‘Kenya Upper primary and Secondary Education Quality Improvement Project’, the education ministry concedes that poor quality was undermining gains made under the Free Primary Education programme. “Not surprisingly, learning outcomes are poor, causing many students to drop out of the education system as early as grade six,” states the ministry.

Under the project, some Sh8.2 billion will be used to improve infrastructure in selected schools. The programme will ensure each of the selected schools has basic physical structures, including classrooms, science laboratories, library, toilets, water facilities, and electricity. All school structures will also be made more friendly for physically challenged students. In addition, each school will be required to attain a student-classroom ratio of 45:1. All classrooms will have sufficient desks and chairs for 45 students.

The schools will also receive a set minimum of instructional materials for teachers, while each learner in Upper Primary will be provided one textbook per subject. For secondary students’ textbooks in six subjects- chemistry, biology, physics, English Language, Kiswahili language, and Mathematics–will be provided.

Boosting learning

A set of geometrical and mathematical instruments, one notebook per subject, pens and pencils will also be provided.
Another Sh800 million has been set aside to reduce teacher shortage, with 10 percent of this budgeted for teachers in Mathematics, Science, and English. Another Sh1.5 billion will be used to enhance teacher professionalism development programmes. To tackle teacher absenteeism, compliance with the 28 hours per week will be enforced. The project will also focus on advocacy for every child to be given the opportunity to complete primary and secondary education. A scholarship programme to enable 18,000 students complete secondary school will be rolled out to support deserving primary school graduates. Overall, the project will benefit some 600,000 primary school pupils and 600,000 secondary school students.
 

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