Nakuru ward representatives want the county government to suspended deployment of newly recruited 350 nursery school teachers until a distribution formulae on how they would be shared among 55 wards is agreed upon.
According to them, there was no proper data that would clearly state the number of teachers in the 827 Early Childhood Development (ECD) centers spread across the county.
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Subukia ward rep Mary Waiganjo last week tabled a motion before the assembly seeking to stop the distribution of the new teachers arguing the formulae applied by the county executive in charge of education Raymond Komen was faulty as it would deny some centers teachers.
“Due to lack of proper data, some of the ECD centers might be denied the correct number of teachers that they require,” she said.
In the recent past there has been a heated exchange between the MCAs and the executive over the actual number of registered ECD centers and on how the new teachers would be shared to avoid a situation where some centers would be disadvantaged.
Data in the department of education shows that there are only 13 registered ECD teachers and 827 schools.
MCAs claim that the number of centers are more because the previous administration built more ECD centers that are ill-equipped, lack teachers and sanitary facilities. Former Governor Kinuthia Mbugua had put the figure at 1,066 CED centers.
Lack of proper data on the number and distribution of existing ECD teachers has compounded the situation that Governor Lee Kinyanjui intended to resolve by employing the 350 nursery school teachers.
Majority Leader Stanley Karanja gave an example of one sub-county with 88 ECD teachers while the most populated one like Naivasha has only 26.
“As MCAs, we need to compel the County Public Service Board and the department of education to stop the anticipated deployment until a fair distribution formulae is arrived at,” said Karanja, who is also the Naivasha East ward rep.
Komen, the CEC Education, told the Standard yesterday that an ad hoc committee has been put in place to address the distribution of the teachers saying MCAs were free to raise their concerns with the team.
“We are dealing with the matter. The reason why we employed the teacher is to meet the demands for teachers. Each and every concern will be addressed,” Komen said.
Komen told MCAs not to disrupt the current distribution of the hired ECD teachers saying the county has a plan of hiring teachers that spread to 5 years which will see all registered ECD centers have at least two qualified teachers.
"As a county we are lagging behind in learning at the basic yet very important stage. There is a clear gap and our results in KCPE and KCSE exams are declining due to this. We want these teachers to be employed as soon as possible,” he noted.
Komen further outlined that the grading of the teachers will be according to the current COG scheme of service which is still a draft with the entry point being of assistant ECD teacher 3.
‘The distribution of teachers in all registered centers will depend on how they will be mapped out. There are some areas with more ECD classrooms than others but all will be fairly considered,’ added Komen.
He noted that the county was lagging behind in education ratings in the country for not taking into consideration early childhood education.
“It’s time we acknowledge that employing enough and qualifying teachers, building and equipping classroom is a major step towards achieving quality education in our county,” said Mr Komen.
A recent study by Egerton University on factors affecting the quality of learning in ECD institutions in the county revealed that nearly half of teachers were unqualified.
The study by David Kuria also highlighted that as of January 2014, most teachers in the county’s 774 public ECDE facilities were demotivated by poor pay and working conditions.