NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 9 – The government has licensed more than 300 non-formal education centres in seven municipalities across the country.
Education Permanent Secretary Professor Karega Mutahi said on Monday that the move was meant to ensure provision of quality education in the slum areas.
“We have just validated 350 non-formal education centres and schools in seven municipalities. We are supporting them,” he said.
Non-formal education is defined as any organised educational activity outside the established formal system operating separately.
Owing to the dynamics of education in society today and the need to develop new approaches to non-formal education within the context of life-long learning, development of non-formal education programmes for the out of school youth in Kenya is necessary.
“How else will you support the slum children who can’t go to school?” posed Prof Mutahi, who also observed that the transition rate from primary to secondary schools had improved.
“If you look at the current year where the transition rate in public schools only is 64.2 percent, if you add another three to four percent in private schools, it will mean we are getting to 69 percent,” he explained.
Referring to the disbursement of funds to the free education programme, Prof Mutahi pointed out that the current drought in the country was to blame for the slow disbursement of free primary and secondary school funds.
He said that a huge amount of the government budget had been allocated to relief efforts thus affecting other sectors.
The PS urged the affected schools to exercise patience as the situation normalises.
“Looking at the weather conditions, looking at the magnitude of the money that has been allocated to purchasing food that is over Sh37 billion, this will strain the schools for a while, but we are hoping that it will be for a short period,” he said.
Prof Mutahi further stated that the government’s commitment to absorb Early Childhood Development (ECD) teachers into the Teachers Service Commission by 2010.
“In 2010, the integration of ECD will start and the suggestion was that you begin by looking at the ECD centres that are attached to primary schools,” he said.
The PS was speaking during the annual review of the Kenya Education Sector Support Programme (KESSP), where he outlined some implemented reforms that have taken place since the initiative’s inception.
He explained that since the previous Joint Budget Review Workshop, the education sector has harmonised the monitoring and evaluation plans under KESSP for efficient utilisation of resources.
He also stated that the government had developed a draft manual on multi-grade teaching and handling of large classes, and that the State had developed a citizen’s service charter and a KESSP mid-term review.