All ECDE Teachers To Serve Under Schemes Of Service
The Ministry of Education and County governments have agreed to allocate 25% of the education budget to Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE).
The Agreement was reached by stakeholders who attended a validation workshop to discuss the Inquiry Report on the status of ECDE in the country.
Among those who attended were Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga, who is the Council of Governors Education Committee chairman and the Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) in the Ministry, Sarah Ruto.
Mutahi said ECDE was underfunded and called for support from the national government for more budgetary allocation to cater for different programmes including feeding.
They asked the Ministry of Education and Council of Governors to ring fence resources for hiring and remunerating ECDE teachers.
The participants also recommended the harmonization of County ECDE policies with the National Pre-Primary Education Policy (2017).
They further suggested speedy operationalisation of the County Education Boards established under section 20 of Basic Education Act.
They said there was need to structure policy and legal framework implementation plans for ECDE programs.
The participants recommended the ratification and immediate implementation of the ECDE Teachers’ Schemes of Service among other resolutions that touched on the welfare of the young learner.
Also discussed were issues to do with a feeding program for the learners to ensure proper nutrition, enrolment and infrastructure at the centres.
Mutahi told the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education that the council was working on a proposal to have ECDEs allocated more funding to address the emerging challenges.
“Stakeholders should support County Governments in achieving the potential of the young learners which will consequently help attain the Big Four Agenda and Kenya’s Vision 2030,” he said.
The four-day meeting also resolved to have a kitty to cater for non-salary recurrent expenditures such as teacher training and on-job support, curriculum development, learning materials
and quality assurance mechanisms.
Challenges to be urgently resolved include, inadequate staffing, limited availability of appropriate teaching, learning and playing materials.
Others are limited community participation and inadequate comprehensive nutrition and health support services. Due to inadequate resources, an annual capitation of Sh2,292 per learner was proposed on ECDE financing to ensure implementation of Basic Education.
The grant highlights nine key budget lines to enhance preprimary education among them Learning Resources, Teacher Guides, Teaching & Learning Aids, Stationery (whiteboards & registers),Environment & Sanitation,Science and Applied Technology,ICT Infrastructure & Maintenance, Morning Meals and Staff & Maintenance.
The report submitted the need to establish a conditional grant for ECDE to augment existing resources by the County Governments, similar to the Vocational Training Centres Conditional Grant.
The grant is expected to strengthen existing interventions by the County Governments towards the improvement of services at the County ECDE Centres.
The report further indicated the need for CoG in partnership with the County Public Service Boards,Ministry of Education,Teachers’ Service Commission, Kenya Institute of Curricutum Development, Salaries and Remuneration Commission and support from UNICEF to develop the first-ever ECDE Teachers’ Schemes of Service launched in the year 2018.
The Scheme of Service guides the recruitment and career progression of ECDE teachers across the country.
On legislation and policies regarding ECDE, the report stated that 32 County Governments had passed legislation on education including on ECDE and vocational training by July 2020.
“This has further led to the adoption of the Pre-Primary Education Policy by the County Governments,” read part of the submissions in the report.
Kahiga who is also the Nyeri Governor said that under the new programme all ECDE teachers would be put under a scheme of service.
“Funding has been a major challenge in this sector while efforts by counties to employ more staff have been affected by the high wage bill,” he said.
Ruto said ECDE was very crucial in the child’s foundation and hence the need for more support.
She said the government will financially support disabled teachers in colleges due to their demands while in training.
“Under the new programme all ECDE teachers will have to get a diploma certificate and there will be a scheme of service and a curriculum for them,” she said.
Meanwhile, plans are underway by parliament to review capitation funds allocated to secondary schools because current figures are outdated.