Politics and policy
Treasury sets aside Sh1.9bn to employ early school teachers
Posted Thursday, June 14 2012 at 20:42
The Treasury has set aside Sh1.9 billion to hire teachers for early childhood education as it moves to improve the quality of children joining primary school and meet demands by the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut).
Part of the money will be used to employ pre-primary teachers. This will be the first time that pre-primary teachers will be included in the government payroll.
Knut called for a strike after it said the government had failed to heed its demands to employ teachers and to hire Early Childhood Education teachers. The strike was called off after the Treasury gave in to the demands and promised to permanently hire their contracted colleagues.
In addition to the allocation to pre-primary allocation, the government allocated Sh118.7 billion to cater for teacher’s salary and recruitment of additional 10,000 teachers in the next financial year.
Erosion of quality
The new move will help to supplement and reduce the over-reliance on parents to pay pre-primary teachers.
In the rural areas, some parents prefer to enrol their children directly into primary schools to evade the nursery school fees. But the step has been blamed for erosion of quality.
In Nandi County, hundreds of pupils in the region were unable to read and write well because the schools did not have ECD programmes, according to Tinderet MP Henry Kosgey.
Mr Kosgey, who once served as Education minister under the Kanu regime called on the government to employ early childhood education teachers.
There is a shortage of 25,000 Early Childhood Development (ECD) teachers in the country, according to the MP.
In a recent task force report to overhaul education system, the pre-school plan was one of the key proposals.
Many pupils in primary school cannot read and write, which is said to have been caused by the fact that they missed early childhood education.
In April, the teachers union warned of strike later this year if the government would fail to meet its demand.