Ray of hope for teachers in William Ruto's administration

William Ruto promised to bridge the teacher deficit in public schools within two fiscal years. [File, Standard]

Some 58,000 teachers will be recruited during the first year of President William Ruto’s reign in a major stride to ease shortage in Kenyan schools.

The Kenya Kwanza Education Charter says a similar number of teachers will be hired every year to plug the widening tutors gap in public schools.

Ruto promised to bridge the deficit in public schools within two fiscal years. “For each phase, we will hire 58,000 teachers when we form the government, to close that gap,’’ Ruto said. 

He said Sh25 billion will be set aside annually for capitation, teacher training and recruitment mainly in the marginalised areas so that all students have access to education.

The charter also proposed myriads of goodies including the establishment of a national education fund to mobilise grants, bursaries and scholarships from private and public sponsors to cater for non-tuition costs.

“To this effect, the Kenya Kwanza administration will work towards strengthening day secondary schools to guarantee access to quality education and reduce the cost of education,” Ruto says.

Currently, parents meet the cost of transport, meals, uniform and boarding fees under the Free Primary Education (FPE) and the Free Day Secondary Education.

The Competency-Based Curriculum will also face fresh reviews under Ruto’s government.

Ruto said his government will not scrap off CBC but rather strengthen it by encouraging further engagements with parents, teachers and stakeholders.

He said this will make the education system accessible to all, affordable and relevant to the kind of human capital needed for the economy to grow. 

“This discussion is going to be largely about how do we achieve universal access; how do we make sure our education is relevant so that we can use it to tackle the challenges of our time. "How do we make education much more affordable for the majority and how do we get quality education where we don’t have half-baked people,” said Ruto.

On this, Kenya Kwanza proposes to introduce alternative class transition criteria from the current knowledge-based academic progression system.

“We commit to continue our robust engagement with the public to facilitate the assessment of the current curriculum and education structure towards finding a sustainable solution that will capture the essence of a knowledge-based system,” he said.

Ruto promised to review it to accommodate concerns from parents, teachers as well as stakeholders in the Education sector. “As Kenya Kwanza, we support the progression from what we had as knowledge and exam-based education, only, to the new format of knowledge, skills and competence as well as value-based education,” said Ruto.