Written by Joseph Amunya Otieno
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The school heads and stakeholders from Matete District who met with the kakamega County Director of Education. They were urged to implement programs that will improve education in the District and County. [PHOTOS | Joseph Amunya]
School heads and stakeholders in Matete District have been encouraged draw and implement strategic plans with clear and achievable targets in order to gradually improve education standards in the area and Kakamega County as a whole.
Kakamega County Director of Education Mr. Tom Alex Majani said this when he addressed education stakeholders at Friends Church in Matete during his familiarization tour of the county.
Majani singled out lack of clear management and infrastructural plans as one of the key reasons most schools in the region were underperforming in national examinations.
“Problems of insufficient text books, laboratories and understaffing, which contribute to poor learning environments are creations of unfocused management systems in our schools,” noted Majani.
Majani urged schools heads to benchmark and borrow a leaf from Friends School Kamusinga in Bungoma County, which he praised for having moved from nothing to fame as a result of drafting and implementing good long and short term strategic plans.
“Strategic plans enable schools identify their needs and work towards acquiring them in order of priority. Friends school Kamusinga did not ride on magic to fame. Previously the school did not have enough land, classrooms, library, laboratories and other equipment yet presently it owns most of them and in plenty. It is simply the school’s strategic plan that has caused magic there,” added Majani.
The official reminded teachers and other stakeholders that they had an uphill task of making sure that that Kakamega County has enough professionals across the fields that will manage its affairs and steer ahead its economic growth and development agenda.
“The only way for us to achieve this is by strategically planning ourselves,” added Majani.
Majani registered his disappointed at the low number of candidates sitting national examinations in the area and warned teachers to desist from the habit of forcing students to repeat.
“It beats logic to see a school with a population of about 600 students having only 18 registered for a national examination,” wondered Majani.
Commenting on child labour, Mr. Majani condemned the practice and urged area provincial administration, especially chiefs and village elders to assist his department at ensuring that all children were in school.
He encouraged parents and guardians to pay required fees to enable school programmes run smoothly reminding them that the government was not catering all academic expenses for their children.
“I am told since the free primary education programme was started parents from Western, Nyanza and Coast provinces have become stubborn and do not want to pay anything for their children,” said the officer.
On staffing problem, the director acknowledged that sector was short of about 80,000 teachers but appealed to school heads to meanwhile continue utilizing teachers employed by Board of Governors (BoGs) and School Management Committees (SMCs) as the government looks into the issue.
The officer accused a section of teachers of indulging in heavy drinking, blaming the practice for causing about six deaths of teachers within the larger Lugari district in the last two months.
Majani disclosed that the Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC) has entered into an agreement with the ministry of education which will see it provide loans for farming activities to schools with enough portions of land and encouraged head teachers to go for such loans in order to improve revenue collections for their schools.
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