More than 90,000 primary school teachers across the country are set to undergo a government training programme to improve learning and teaching in primary schools.
The majority of these tutors have been lined up for the ongoing training in early grade mathematics with the next phase of this programme set for next month.
And from tomorrow, head teachers from 4,000 pilot schools that post a mean mark of 243 and below in the KCPE examination will undergo computer training for two weeks to boost their management skills under the School Improvement Project (SIP) component.
These are among teachers who will be trained under the first phase of the Sh8.8 billion programme funded by Global Partnership for Education under the supervision of the World Bank.
The half-mark mean score in the KCPE is 250 marks out of the maximum possible 500.
The training comes against the backdrop of Teachers Service Commission (TSC) warning that head teachers whose schools post low grades may never be promoted as part of the performance appraisal initiatives being implemented.
“Head teachers who record declining trends in academic performance should be cautioned in writing and appropriate action taken to address the gaps,” reads the November 29, 2016 circular to all the 47 County Directors of Education.
The SIP also seeks to help raise standards of school management and accountability.
The SIP is a component for the overall project called Primary Education Development.
The training that kicks off tomorrow in all the 47 counties is a plan to improve their teaching and monitoring skills to improve academic performance in their institutions.
The SIP project aims to provide specific interventions in key areas of the sub-sector and is intended to help the country address areas not yet fully covered by other initiatives.
According to the document, the project aims at improving learning competencies of lower classes in primary schools by focusing on Early Grade Mathematics. The project will also cover a pilot to improve school performance through strengthened school management and accountability in the delivery of primary education.
It will also aim at strengthening capacity for research-based education sector policy development at the national level.
Other areas to be covered under the project include policy coordination, supervision, communication and monitoring and evaluation of results.
During the training of heads that will take place across all county headquarters, each of the head teachers will be provided with a tablet preloaded with management software.
“The head teachers will be trained on the basic skills of using the tablets to provide necessary details under the school improvement programme,” said the Ministry of Education Director of Projects, Mr Elyas Abdi.
“We are determined to help these pilot schools improve their academic and management performance,” he added.
The Ministry of Education already trained the management committees of the 4,000 pilot schools on measures to boost quality of learning and teaching. The funds, under the supervision of the World Bank, are meant to support development of the primary education sub-sector in Kenya. Mr Abdi said the schools have been put on an aggressive plan that provides them with an integrated set of interventions to improve performance.
“We are focusing on strengthening school management and accountability for results in the delivery of primary education,” Abdi said.
Under this programme, he said, a KCPE analysis and feedback has been given to each of the participating schools to help them identify their weaknesses and select appropriate measures to improve their curriculum delivery.
The schools will also be helped to implement a tool that tracks performance of teachers so they can know how and where to put emphasis.
Already, the TSC has started providing useful feedback for school improvement planning and to teachers specifically, for their professional development. The earmarked schools will also be provided with resources to develop a SIP to address their key student learning challenges, and thereafter carry out the priority actions under this plan.
According to a document seen by Sunday Standard, the project seeks to enable the selected schools participating in the pilot to be audited annually during the project implementation period by the School Audit Directorate under Ministry of Education
The Kenya National Examinations Council will be supported to produce detailed, school level analysis of the KCPE results to be provided to each of the 4,000 participating schools in the form of school specific reports.