Education secretary roots for better pay for ECD teachers

By Harold Ayodo

Some early childhood education teachers may soon earn more than their less experienced and educated counterparts in secondary schools, according to Education Secretary George Godia.

Prof Godia said the reviewed salary schemes would consider academic qualifications and experience at all levels of education.

"We are reviewing the education system in line with the new Constitution, which emphasises on early childhood education," Prof Godia said. Godia was speaking at the concluded Educational Management Society of Kenya international conference at the University of Nairobi, Kenya Science Campus.

The Education Secretary said that nursery schools had a shortage of 66,000 teachers, which should be addressed urgently.

Government statistics show that there are an estimated 60,000 trained nursery school teachers. Early this year, Education Minister Sam Ongeri said nearly 20,000 nursery school teachers would be employed at a cost of Sh1.6 billion from July. Prof Ongeri assured that Treasury had made a commitment to allocate funds for the recruitment in this year’s budget.

"It is harder to teach toddlers than primary, secondary or university students…a strong foundation is a pillar of education," Prof Godia said. He said that the task force working on the framework meets at the Kenya Institute (KIE) of Education every Wednesday.

Godia said the Government is taking steps to contain the exodus of teachers to other levels of education after further studies.

"A nursery school teacher with a Masters degree would be paid better than counterparts in primary and secondary for quality assurance," Prof Godia said.

He explained that teachers who qualify for instance Job Group L, which requires a Masters degree in Education, would earn competitive perks. "A nursery school teacher may earn more than counterparts in secondary school depending on academic qualifications and experience," Prof Godia said.

He said the number of graduate teachers teaching in nursery schools is rising steadily, an indication of competition in the profession.

"There are also teachers with Masters and Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) — qualifications for university lecturers — teaching in primary and secondary schools," he said.

Earlier Ongeri said the Government would scrap off certificate courses for teachers.

He said a university degree would be the minimum qualification for teaching in all levels of education.

He said the Government is in the process of upgrading primary teachers training colleges to offer diploma courses as the minimum level.