NCIC calls for scrapping of school quota system

March 29, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 29 – The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) now wants the quota system of education scrapped or reviewed arguing that it hampers harmonisation efforts in the country.

While speaking during a meeting with Education ministry officials on Wednesday Chairman Mzalendo Kibunjia said education should be used to foster national unity by incorporating curriculum that sets the pace for such agenda so as to guarantee the future stability of the country.

He added that the quota system did not promote integration at the school level but it instead undermined it.

“You can imagine if I was born in Western Province, went to Mumias Primary School, St Peters Mumias High School, Masinde Muliro University in Kakamega and got a job at Mumias Sugar Company. My world view would be totally different from someone who left their homeland and went to school in other places,” he said.

Education Permanent Secretary James Ole Kiyiapi however assured the commission that his ministry was in the process of reviewing the quota system to ensure all forms of discrimination were eliminated. He asked the commission to forward their concerns to the task force so that they could be considered.

He said that a taskforce had been set up to revise the system as well as ensure that every county got a minimum of two national schools, once the devolution governance structures were established.

“I am glad to announce to the NCIC that if you go to Alliance High school today or to Moi Girls High school, Eldoret, you will see Kenya there; you will see a representation of the nation. What we need to do now is expand the national schools,” he said.

Dr Kibunjia also said that the commission would in the next two weeks conduct an ethnicity audit in all government institutions to ensure equality was promoted at all times. The findings of the said audit would also be published.

“And this includes secondary schools, universities and the ministries themselves. Then on the fourth of next month we will present the ethnic audit to all Permanent Secretaries for their input before we release it to the public,” he explained.

Prof Kiyiapi also pointed out that Kenya still had a shortage of teachers with current statistics indicating that the country required 61,000 additional teachers. He said that if the shortage was corrected then the education ministry would be able to foster equality in the distribution of such resources.

“We don’t have enough teachers so even if you try to ensure equality in the number of tutors, some schools will always have extra teachers, maybe one or two, so it is mainly an issue of shortage. If we can hire enough teachers then we have a chance of balancing them out,” he said.

He also noted that most education resources were concentrated in urban areas adding that such inequalities would be addressed through the introduction of incentives.

“It is just like why some doctors prefer being in Nairobi and not Marsabit and as we develop the counties and create their infrastructure, we will promote what we call the pull factors,” he said.

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