Category Archives: Education

ECD coordinators root support for the proposed system of education


KAKAMEGA

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

By Chris Mahandara.
Early Childhood Education project coordinators from Western Province
have rooted support for the proposed new system of education.
The coordinators said the proposed system was a sure way of bringing
up holistic all round professionals to compete effectively in the
competitive world.
Western Regional Coordinator for Early Childhood Education Programme
officers Mr. Douglas Barasa said the system which incorporates two
years for ECD was a step in the right direction to ensure that all
children attend school.
ECD, he said was critical in nurturing talent and boosting performance
at primary school level urging the government to include it in the
free education programme to bring more children on board.
“Most children in rural, arid and semi arid areas have no access to
ECD since their parents cannot afford the levies charged,” he said.
He urged the government to employ ECD teachers to take on the
programme to enhance quality education at that level.
“The government through sessional paper two of 2005 promised to employ
ECD teachers in 2010 but to date the promise has not been honored,” he
said

Officer bemoans low enrollment in youth polytechnics


Teso

24th  November 2011

By Kakamegatimes

Teso North district Youth officer Mr. Oigo Emmanuel recently bemoaned the enrollment in the two Youth Polytechnics in the district namely Amagoro and Katakwa although  number has  rising from a total of 50 students in 2007 to over 400 students this year.

He blamed the negative attitude of the youths and the larger community over polytechnics and lack of support from parents for the low figures despite many school leavers in the district being jobless and idle due to lack of any training.

He said the government has developed and equipped the two polytechnics to have the capacity to cater for larger numbers of students besides subsidizing tuition with fifteen thousand shillings for each student that joins.

He revealed that the government has released a total of over shs 6.6 million which is tied to the enrollment figures to the two institutions in the district for easier running of their activities.

Mr. Oigo however cited lack of enough instructors and inability to run expensive technical courses as major challenges bedeviling the institutions. He said the two have a total manpower of 25 instructors with only two being permanent yet the standard ratio is supposed to be 1 instructor for 22 students.

The  Youth Officer urged  the youths who are out  of school and scored lower grades than required for mid-college entry or come from humble backgrounds and cannot join colleges due to lack of fees  to join the polytechnics saying that the curriculum in the institutions has now been structured to enable students proceed to universities after.

He said the courses offered in the government sponsored institutions are mostly targeted at enabling the youths create self employment opportunities  noting that with current lack of jobs situation in the country the graduates from polytechnics stood a chance to be self reliant.

The courses include Motor vehicle technology, Fashion and design, Carpentry and joinery, Building technology, Electrical and electronics technology, ICT, Agribusiness, Entrepreneurship and hairdressing and beauty therapy.

 

Develop curriculum on ethnic cohesion, government told


KAKAMEGA

Tuesday,6 September, 2011       By Kakamegatimes correspondent

Scholars from western province have asked curriculum developers in the Ministry of Education to urgently incorporate subjects on ethnic cohesion and integration for both primary and secondary schools learning in order to enhance peaceful co-existence of all the communities in Kenya.

 

Speaking at a National Cohesion and Integration Commission workshop at Golf Hotel Kakamega yesterday, the scholars drawn from several public universities blamed the country’s education curriculum for failing to adequately address the problem of negative ethnicity among learners.

 

Professor Olubayo Olubayo, formerly of Rutgers University, America, said that since the new constitution has opened room for Kenyans to enjoy their multiple-identities, both parents and teachers have a task of teaching children to embrace their counterparts from other tribes for inclusion and recognition of the one-ness of Kenya as a country.

 

He encouraged curriculum developers at the Kenya Institute of Education (KIE) to include lessons on ethnicity, cohesion and integration in subjects like social studies, history and geography in primary and secondary schools so as to make children to understand the significance of their common history and interests.

 

“We have common interests that are not based on ethnicity. We should always remind ourselves this and to our children through our education, media, village meetings and other forums,” said Olubayo.

 

University of Nairobi’s reknowned historian, Professor V.G. Simiyu, asked Kenyans to be very cautious when debating on devolution politics.

 

He warned Kenyans of the consequences for destroying the country’s nationhood as symbolized in the central government under the guise of the new constitution.

 

“The rise and collapse of a state is a very violent process. We need to be very careful as we talk about political devolution in order to guard against the collapse of our state. As we continue with the national dialogue on county governments, enviable care should be taken to avoid destroying both our nation and new constitution but domesticate them,” said Professor Simiyu.

 

The history don reiterated the need to inculcate history lessons in all disciplines of learning in the institutions of higher learning as this will always remind Kenyan students of their shared and common identity, make them learn to embrace one another and tone down the problem of negative ethnicity.

 

He further appealed to the government to translate the new constitution into Kiswahili as this will enable many Kenyans read and appreciate its content.

 

Simiyu, however, scoffed at the proliferation of ethnic media stations, noting that such was counterproductive of the gains made by various peace initiatives across the country.

 

“Such kills the very essence of unifying Kenyans under one national language. In fact it is difficult to understand what media owners of vernacular stations tell their listens in hidden proverbs. We seem to have forgotten so fast what happened in 2008,” added Simiyu.

 

Other scholars who addressed participants in the forum included, Professor Hellen Mwanzi of UoN, Dr. Godwin Murunga, Kenyatta University and Profesor Egara Kabaji of Masinde Muliro University.

 

Learning paralysed as teachers boycot classes


KAKAMEGA

Tuesday, 6th September 2011   By Kakamegatimes correspondent

Teachers in Kakamega County kept off classes on the first day of schools’ reopening as they
await the nod of their unions’ national offices, later, to officially begin
their planned strike.

Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers National Chairman Omboko Milemba said the
union has asked teachers to go slow until the 7-day strike notice expires on
Thursday.

Milemba said
teachers are warming up for the strike and the union has asked them to brace
for hard times should negotiations with the government fail.

Kenya National Union of Teachers’ County chairman Patrick Chungani said some teachers havea lready downed their tools and learning is likely to be disrupted if a solution to the reallocation of the Sh5.5 billion meant for recruitment of more teachers is not arrived at before the end of today.

Mr Chungani said that all the 9,000 teachers in the county are in support of the industrial action and will leave their stations of work as soon as the strike order is issued.

He said the union asked teachers to make technical appearances in schools as negotiations between the government and union officials begin.

While KNUT is seeking permanent employment of the 18,060 teachers currently on contract and an additional 9,000, KUPPET has said its members will only resume work after arrears of teachers promoted two years ago are fully paid. The teachers are in job groups L, M, N and P.

The union is also seeking harmonization of commuter and house allowances of its members with those of civil servants.

Meanwhile, a planned strike by lecturers at Masinde Muliro University has been called off after the institution’s management paid monies owed to the dons.

The secretary-general of University Academic Staff Union of Masinde Muliro Prof Sammy Kubasu wrote to the university to notify it of the calling off of the strike that was to begin today.

The letter dated September 2, indicates that the outstanding monies for lecturers’ assessment and advice to students on field attachment had been fully paid.

It directs members to carry out their duties pending completion of the 40 per cent service provider money drawn from fees paid by privately sponsored students that was paid in part to Faculty of Education and Social Sciences lecturers.

The dons were aggrieved by non-payment of the arrears and non-remittance of statutory deductions that they claimed inconvenienced them.

Sh. 389 million Chinese government equipment donation to revolutionize training


KAKAMEGA               Tuesday, August 02, 2011            By Chris Mahandara.

The Chinese government through technical cooperation with the Kenyan government is set to equip Shamberere Technical Training Institute in Kakamega North district with state of the art equipment.

The equipment worth Sh.389 million is earmarked for an ultra modern workshop at the institute which will make it the only one of its kind in East and Central Africa.

The government through the Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP) has already disbursed Sh. 42 million for the construction of the complex to house the electrical, mechanical and Information Communication Technology (ICT) workshops.

Shamberere Technical Training Institute Chief Principal Mrs. Bernadette Kanute said a contractor was already on sight and the construction is expected to be completed by October this year.

She said the Chinese government had confirmed that the equipment which is set to revolutionize training at the institute would be in the country by October this year.

The Principal added that the government was ready to expand the institute but the community around the facility was not willing to avail land.

She said efforts to relocate people living around the institute have been futile with some quoting exorbitant prices.

Mrs. Kanute added that enrollment at the institute which was upgraded by the government in 2008 was very poor.

Currently the institute has only 254 students against the required 1, 000 according to the ministry of higher education.

She attributed the poor enrollment to cheap politics where some leaders from the community discourage parents to take their children to the institute because they are opposed to its expansion.

“We are appealing to the community to realize that this is now a national institute and they have to take advantage of the courses we offer here,” she said.

The institute’s board of management chairman Mr. John Tande said the institute through assistance from Malava Constituency Development Fund has purchased 2 acres of land 2km away from the institute adding that a proposal to purchase 9 more acres has been presented to the CDF committee for approval.

Those willing to relocate to allow for the expansion of the institute, he said would be settled on the land. Alternatively the institute if offering to buy land from the affected families at Sh. 400,000 per acre.

However, some of them have refused while others are demanding for Sh. 1 million per acre which the institute says is too high.

Lower Western Regional Commissioner (RC) Mr. Patrick Okwanyo asked the community living around the institute to embrace development and avail land for the expansion of the institute.

Speaking during a tour of the institute today, Mr. Okwanyo said it was unfortunate to see some leaders opposing the expansion of the facility at a time when every county in the republic is fighting to establish and expand institutions of higher learning.

He appealed to the community to talk and agree with the institute over the issue contrary to which the government would use the land acquisition act to relocate the affected families.

“We cannot afford to let an institution like this which has a lot of potential to die,” said the regional commissioner.

Shiamberere which is the only institution of higher learning in Malava Constituency started off as a village polytechnic and was upgraded by the Ministry of Higher Education into a Technical Training Institute in 2008.

The institute offers certificates and diplomas in agricultural engineering, food and beverage, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, clothes and textile and Information technology.

The institute has partnered with Maritime Services and is expected to start offering their programmes soon.

It has also opened a campus in Malava town which offers part time courses for civil servants and other people who are not able to attend the programmes full time.

Lack of accommodation forces students to defer studies


KAKAMEGA        Thursday, August 18, 2011      By Chris Mahandara.

Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) Kenya’s youngest public university is faced by acute shortage accommodation facilities.

Out of a population of 10, 000 students, the university can only accommodate 1, 150 male and 306 female students.

Private Hostels cleared by the university to accommodate students in Kakamega town can only handle 1, 120 students while other unclassified facilities accommodate 534 students bringing the total bed capacity for students on campus and outside campus to 2, 576.

MMUST Deputy Vice Chancellor Prof. Sibilikhe Makhanu said the huge shortfall of 7, 000 has forced many students who fail to secure accommodation to defer their studies.

The situation, he said is likely to get out of hand since the university was expanding by 1,000 students per year meaning in the next five years the institution will have 15, 000 students.

“We have unique attractive programmes which have seen a sharp increase in the number of students,” he said.

Speaking during a workshop on Public Private Partnership (PPP) engagement at the university, Prof. Makhanu appealed to the business community in Kakamega town to take advantage of the situation and build hostels to accommodate the students.

Through PPP, he said the university would like to engage private developers to set up and manage hostels for a stipulated period on university land to accommodate the students.

Prof. Makhanu said the university has opened up investment opportunities but investors in the area were reluctant to take advantage of the openings.

On average, he said each student spends Sh. 125, 000 per year meaning Sh. 1.25 billion from the university students alone circulate in the town annually.

“We must start thinking of how to get a share of the Sh. 1.25 billion,” he said.