Next president should form team to review education policies


Wilson Sossion caricature. [File, Standard]

The fifth president will have his job cut out in the education sector. He or she will find the sector at a crossroads, thus a crucial decision will have to be made to revitalise it.

The only rational solution to this distressing situation is for the government to constitute a commission as provided for in the Education Act (2013) to review the current education system, policies, programmes and implementation strategies.

The situation calls for a commission similar in status to the Kenya Education Commission of 1964 (Ominde Commission) that recommended an overhaul of the curriculum to make it relevant; The Gachathi Commission (1976) that looked into the educational objectives and policies; The Mackey Commission (1981) that established the 8-4-4 system and proposed emphasis on vocational subjects and establishment of the second university of science and technology; The Kamunge Commission (1988) which recommended cost-sharing in education; and the Koech Commission (1999) which recommended reintroduction of A-level system in form of Totally Integrated Quality Education and Training.

It should be noted that education commissions seek to improve the system of education to ensure improved academic achievement. The core interest of the commission is to orient the education system towards national development.

The review of education system will provide pivotal information for policymakers and curriculum implementers, and hence significantly improve the effectiveness of formulated policies.

In the Kenyan situation where educational programmes are almost collapsing due to bad policies, poor governance and non-implementation of recommendations by commissions and task forces; it is prudent that the next government reviews the entire education system, policies, programmes and implementation strategies including:

· Enhanced funding of the Public Education sector;

· Scale down education reforms to education review and drop Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC);

· Infrastructural development to meet international standards in all schools;

· Hiring adequate teachers to address perennial teacher shortage, and pay them well;

· How Teachers Service Commission, Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, Kenya Institute of Special Education and the Ministry of Education should work seamlessly to achieve Education 2030 Agenda and Vision 2030;

· Curriculum design for teacher training at both diploma and degree levels;

· How to achieve the steady supply of teaching/learning resources of high quality;

· Roll out proper ICT integration in all learning institutions;

· Drafting of a fresh Sessional Paper for Education to guide education policies.

Kenya must deliver a competitive quality public education to fulfil global commitments and its national aspirations.

Mr Sossion is a Member of parliamentary committees on Education and Labour

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