NAIROBI, Kenya, May 23- The Government has allocated Sh.6.5 billion to the Ministry of Education for hiring teachers and support online learning during the COVID-19 period.
President Uhuru Kenyatta said the money will be used to hire 10,000 teachers and 1000 ICT interns.
“We know that our parents and indeed our students across the country are concerned about what the future holds and what plans and programmes we have for our education sector to ensure that our children are able to carry on with their education. The programme will also support the improvement of our education infrastructure including the acquisition of over 250,000 desks made by our local artisans,” President Uhuru Kenyatta said Saturday, in an address from State House, Nairobi when he announced a massive Sh53.7 billion stimulus package to jump start the economy.
A recent study conducted by Usawa Agenda, a lobby championing equitable access to quality education showed about 80 per cent of students are missing out on virtual classes set up following the closure of learning institutions as part of coronavirus containment efforts.
The survey indicated only 22 per cent of students interviewed in forty-two counties were accessing online learning resources with those enrolled in private schools being twice as likely to take part in digital learning compared to their counterparts in public schools.
“The findings show that on average 22 out 100 children are accessing online learning in Kenya. A child in a private school is twice as likely to be accessing digital learning compared to his/her counterpart in public school. Less than 10 per cent of learners in public schools are accessing digital learning materials,” the report reads in part.
The research further showed that two out of ten parents were not aware that their children were expected to continue learning from home.
The survey conducted in April interviewed 3,700 household heads in 255 villages in the identified counties.
The Head of State unveiled a massive stimulus programme to jump-start the country’s economy by pumping Sh53.7 billion into various sectors.
He said the move is aimed at mitigating the effects of COVID-19 which has slowed the economy since March, rendering thousands jobless after many business were closed down.
The program focuses on key sectors among them infrastructure, education, health, agriculture and tourism.
Other sectors that will benefit from the 8-point stimulus programme include the SMEs sub-sector, environment and manufacturing.
“To combat the effects of this downturn, my administration has had to take additional measures. Today I am happy to announce the rolling out of my 8-point stimulus programme amounting to some Sh53.7 billion. The injection of this money into the economy will stimulate growth and cushion families and companies as together we navigate our way out of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Kenyatta said.